Deep and abyssal ocean warming from 35 years of repeat hydrography

Desbruyeres, DG, Purkey SG, McDonagh EL, Johnson GC, King BA.  2016.  Deep and abyssal ocean warming from 35 years of repeat hydrography. Geophysical Research Letters. 43:10356-10365.

Date Published:



atlantic, GO-SHIP, heat uptake, ocean heat content, repeat hydrography, slowdown, waters


Global and regional ocean warming deeper than 2000m is investigated using 35years of sustained repeat hydrographic survey data starting in 1981. The global long-term temperature trend below 2000m, representing the time period 1991-2010, is equivalent to a mean heat flux of 0.065 0.040Wm(-2) applied over the Earth's surface area. The strongest warming rates are found in the abyssal layer (4000-6000m), which contributes to one third of the total heat uptake with the largest contribution from the Southern and Pacific Oceans. A similar regional pattern is found in the deep layer (2000-4000m), which explains the remaining two thirds of the total heat uptake yet with larger uncertainties. The global average warming rate did not change within uncertainties pre-2000 versus post-2000, whereas ocean average warming rates decreased in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and increased in the Atlantic and Southern Oceans.