Ocean climate change; comparison of acoustic tomography, satellite altimetry, and modeling

Baggeroer, AB, Birdsall TG, Clark C, Colosi JA, Cornuelle BD, Costa D, Dushaw BD, Dzieciuch M, Forbes AMG, Hill C, Howe BM, Marshall J, Menemenlis D, Mercer JA, Metzger K, Munk W, Spindel RC, Stammer D, Worcester PF, Wunsch C.  1998.  Ocean climate change; comparison of acoustic tomography, satellite altimetry, and modeling. Science. 281:1327-1332., Washington, DC, United States (USA): American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC


07:Oceanography, acoustical methods, altimetry, anomalies, climate change, fluctuations, general circulation models, geophysical methods, heat flux, measurement, Pacific Ocean, remote sensing, salinity, satellite methods, sea water, sea-level changes, seasonal variations, spatial variations, temperature, thermal properties, tomography


Comparisons of gyre-scale acoustic and direct thermal measurements of heat content in the Pacific Ocean, satellite altimeter measurements of sea surface height, and results from a general circulation model show that only about half of the seasonal and year-to-year changes in sea level are attributable to thermal expansion. Interpreting climate change signals from fluctuations in sea level is therefore complicated. The annual cycle of heat flux is 150 ± 25 watts per square meter (peak-to-peak, corresponding to a 0.2°C vertically averaged temperature cycle); an interannual change of similar magnitude is also detected. Meteorological estimates of surface heat flux, if accurate, require a large seasonal cycle in the advective heat flux.