AbstractAn accurate diagnosis of ocean heat content (OHC) is essential for interpreting climate variability and change, as evidenced for example by the broad range of hypotheses that exists for explaining the recent hiatus in global mean surface warming. Potential insights are explored here by examining relationships between OHC and sea surface height (SSH) in observations and two recently available large ensembles of climate model simulations from the mid 20th Century to 2100. It is found that in decadal length observations and a model control simulation with constant forcing, strong ties between OHC and SSH exist, with little temporal or spatial complexity. Agreement is particularly strong on monthly to interannual timescales. In contrast, in forced transient warming simulations, important dependencies in the relationship exist as a function of region and timescale. Near Antarctica, low frequency SSH variability is driven mainly by changes in the circumpolar current associated with intensified surface winds, leading to correlations between OHC and SSH that are weak and sometimes negative. In subtropical regions, and near other coastal boundaries, negative correlations are also evident on long timescales and are associated with the accumulated effects of changes in the water cycle and ocean dynamics that underlie complexity in the OHC relationship to SSH. Low frequency variability in observations is found to exhibit similar negative correlations. Combined with altimeter data, these results provide evidence that SSH increases in the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans during the hiatus are suggestive of substantial OHC increases. Methods for developing the applicability of altimetry as a constraint on OHC more generally are also discussed.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Aug 15, 2017
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.
Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.
It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera