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Purkey, SG, Johnson GC, Talley LD, Sloyan BM, Wijffels SE, Smethie W, Mecking S, Katsumata K.  2019.  Unabated bottom water warming and freshening in the South Pacific Ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 124:1778-1794.   10.1029/2018jc014775   AbstractWebsite

Abyssal ocean warming contributed substantially to anthropogenic ocean heat uptake and global sea level rise between 1990 and 2010. In the 2010s, several hydrographic sections crossing the South Pacific Ocean were occupied for a third or fourth time since the 1990s, allowing for an assessment of the decadal variability in the local abyssal ocean properties among the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. These observations from three decades reveal steady to accelerated bottom water warming since the 1990s. Strong abyssal (z>4,000m) warming of 3.5 (1.4) m degrees C/year (m degrees C=10(-3)degrees C) is observed in the Ross Sea, directly downstream from bottom water formation sites, with warming rates of 2.5 (0.4) m degrees C/year to the east in the Amundsen-Bellingshausen Basin and 1.3 (0.2) m degrees C/year to the north in the Southwest Pacific Basin, all associated with a bottom-intensified descent of the deepest isotherms. Warming is consistently found across all sections and their occupations within each basin, demonstrating that the abyssal warming is monotonic, basin-wide, and multidecadal. In addition, bottom water freshening was strongest in the Ross Sea, with smaller amplitude in the Amundsen-Bellingshausen Basin in the 2000s, but is discernible in portions of the Southwest Pacific Basin by the 2010s. These results indicate that bottom water freshening, stemming from strong freshening of Ross Shelf Waters, is being advected along deep isopycnals and mixed into deep basins, albeit on longer timescales than the dynamically driven, wave-propagated warming signal. We quantify the contribution of the warming to local sea level and heat budgets. Plain Language Summary Over 90% of the excess energy gained by Earth's climate system has been absorbed by the oceans, with about 10% found deeper than 2,000m. The rates and patterns of deep and abyssal (deeper than 4,000m) ocean warming, while vital for understanding how this heat sink might behave in the future, are poorly known owing to limited data. Here we use highly accurate data collected by ships along oceanic transects with decadal revisits to quantify how much heat and freshwater has entered the South Pacific Ocean between the 1990s and 2010s. We find widespread warming throughout the deep basins there and evidence that the warming rate has accelerated in the 2010s relative to the 1990s. The warming is strongest near Antarctica where the abyssal ocean is ventilated by surface waters that sink to the sea floor and hence become bottom water, but abyssal warming is observed everywhere. In addition, we observe an infusion of freshwater propagating along the pathway of the bottom water as it moves northward from Antarctica. We quantify the deep ocean warming contributions to heat uptake as well as sea level rise through thermal expansion.

Cazenave, A, Meyssignac B, Ablain M, Balmaseda M, Bamber J, Barletta V, Beckley B, Benveniste J, Berthier E, Blazquez A, Boyer T, Caceres D, Chambers D, Champollion N, Chao B, Chen JL, Cheng LJ, Church JA, Chuter S, Cogley JG, Dangendorf S, Desbruyeres D, Doll P, Domingues C, Falk U, Famiglietti J, Fenoglio-Marc L, Forsberg R, Galassi G, Gardner A, Groh A, Hamlington B, Hogg A, Horwath M, Humphrey V, Husson L, Ishii M, Jaeggi A, Jevrejeva S, Johnson G, Kolodziejczyk N, Kusche J, Lambeck K, Landerer F, Leclercq P, Legresy B, Leuliette E, Llovel W, Longuevergne L, Loomis BD, Luthcke SB, Marcos M, Marzeion B, Merchant C, Merrifield M, Milne G, Mitchum G, Mohajerani Y, Monier M, Monselesan D, Nerem S, Palanisamy H, Paul F, Perez B, Piecuch CG, Ponte RM, Purkey SG, Reager JT, Rietbroek R, Rignot E, Riva R, Roemmich DH, Sorensen LS, Sasgen I, Schrama EJO, Seneviratne SI, Shum CK, Spada G, Stammer D, van de Wal R, Velicogna I, von Schuckmann K, Wada Y, Wang YG, Watson C, Wiese D, Wijffels S, Westaway R, Woppelmann G, Wouters B, Grp WGSLB.  2018.  Global sea-level budget 1993-present. Earth System Science Data. 10:1551-1590.   10.5194/essd-10-1551-2018   AbstractWebsite

Global mean sea level is an integral of changes occurring in the climate system in response to unforced climate variability as well as natural and anthropogenic forcing factors. Its temporal evolution allows changes (e.g.,acceleration) to be detected in one or more components. Study of the sea-level budget provides constraints on missing or poorly known contributions, such as the unsurveyed deep ocean or the still uncertain land water component. In the context of the World Climate Research Programme Grand Challenge entitled "Regional Sea Level and Coastal Impacts", an international effort involving the sea-level community worldwide has been recently initiated with the objective of assessing the various datasets used to estimate components of the sea-level budget during the altimetry era (1993 to present). These datasets are based on the combination of a broad range of space-based and in situ observations, model estimates, and algorithms. Evaluating their quality, quantifying uncertainties and identifying sources of discrepancies between component estimates is extremely useful for various applications in climate research. This effort involves several tens of scientists from about 50 research teams/institutions worldwide (, last access: 22 August 2018). The results presented in this paper are a synthesis of the first assessment performed during 2017-2018. We present estimates of the altimetry-based global mean sea level (average rate of 3.1 +/- 0.3mm yr(-1) and acceleration of 0.1 mm yr(-2) over 1993-present), as well as of the different components of the sea-level budget (, last access: 22 August 2018). We further examine closure of the sea-level budget, comparing the observed global mean sea level with the sum of components. Ocean thermal expansion, glaciers, Greenland and Antarctica contribute 42%, 21%, 15% and 8% to the global mean sea level over the 1993-present period. We also study the sea-level budget over 2005-present, using GRACE-based ocean mass estimates instead of the sum of individual mass components. Our results demonstrate that the global mean sea level can be closed to within 0.3 mm yr(-1) (1 sigma). Substantial uncertainty remains for the land water storage component, as shown when examining individual mass contributions to sea level.