DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Observed and simulated full-depth ocean heat-content changes for 1970–2005

Abstract

Here, greenhouse-gas emissions have created a planetary energy imbalance that is primarily manifested by increasing ocean heat content (OHC). Updated observational estimates of full-depth OHC change since 1970 are presented that account for recent advancements in reducing observation errors and biases. The full-depth OHC has increased by 0.74 [0.68, 0.80] × 1022 J yr–1 (0.46 Wm–2) and 1.22 [1.16–1.29] × 1022 J yr–1 (0.75 Wm–2) for 1970–2005 and 1992–2005, respectively, with a 5 to 95 % confidence interval of the median. The CMIP5 models show large spread in OHC changes, suggesting that some models are not state-of-the-art and require further improvements. However, the ensemble median has excellent agreement with our observational estimate: 0.68 [0.54–0.82] × 1022 J yr–1 (0.42 Wm–2) from 1970 to 2005 and 1.25 [1.10–1.41] × 1022 J yr–1 (0.77 Wm–2) from 1992 to 2005. These results increase confidence in both the observational and model estimates to quantify and study changes in Earth's energy imbalance over the historical period. We suggest that OHC be a fundamental metric for climate model validation and evaluation, especially for forced changes (decadal timescales).

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1272636
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1363635
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0012711
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Ocean Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Ocean Science Journal Volume: 12 Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1812-0792
Publisher:
Copernicus GmbH
Country of Publication:
Country unknown/Code not available
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Cheng, Lijing, Trenberth, Kevin E., Palmer, Matthew D., Zhu, Jiang, and Abraham, John P. Observed and simulated full-depth ocean heat-content changes for 1970–2005. Country unknown/Code not available: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.5194/os-12-925-2016.
Cheng, Lijing, Trenberth, Kevin E., Palmer, Matthew D., Zhu, Jiang, & Abraham, John P. Observed and simulated full-depth ocean heat-content changes for 1970–2005. Country unknown/Code not available. https://doi.org/10.5194/os-12-925-2016
Cheng, Lijing, Trenberth, Kevin E., Palmer, Matthew D., Zhu, Jiang, and Abraham, John P. Tue . "Observed and simulated full-depth ocean heat-content changes for 1970–2005". Country unknown/Code not available. https://doi.org/10.5194/os-12-925-2016.
@article{osti_1272636,
title = {Observed and simulated full-depth ocean heat-content changes for 1970–2005},
author = {Cheng, Lijing and Trenberth, Kevin E. and Palmer, Matthew D. and Zhu, Jiang and Abraham, John P.},
abstractNote = {Here, greenhouse-gas emissions have created a planetary energy imbalance that is primarily manifested by increasing ocean heat content (OHC). Updated observational estimates of full-depth OHC change since 1970 are presented that account for recent advancements in reducing observation errors and biases. The full-depth OHC has increased by 0.74 [0.68, 0.80] × 1022 J yr–1 (0.46 Wm–2) and 1.22 [1.16–1.29] × 1022 J yr–1 (0.75 Wm–2) for 1970–2005 and 1992–2005, respectively, with a 5 to 95 % confidence interval of the median. The CMIP5 models show large spread in OHC changes, suggesting that some models are not state-of-the-art and require further improvements. However, the ensemble median has excellent agreement with our observational estimate: 0.68 [0.54–0.82] × 1022 J yr–1 (0.42 Wm–2) from 1970 to 2005 and 1.25 [1.10–1.41] × 1022 J yr–1 (0.77 Wm–2) from 1992 to 2005. These results increase confidence in both the observational and model estimates to quantify and study changes in Earth's energy imbalance over the historical period. We suggest that OHC be a fundamental metric for climate model validation and evaluation, especially for forced changes (decadal timescales).},
doi = {10.5194/os-12-925-2016},
journal = {Ocean Science},
number = 4,
volume = 12,
place = {Country unknown/Code not available},
year = {2016},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-12-925-2016

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 4 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Flexible-grid method. (a) shows the geographical distribution of 700 m OHC in 1980 on each 1 by 1 grid, showing good data coverage in the Northern Hemisphere and sparse data in the Southern Hemisphere. To fill these data gaps by using the flexible-grid method, OHC on each gridmore » in the poorly sampled region (defined as the Argo-Ship Area in CZ14) is calculated by averaging OHC on a large latitude– longitude grid with sizes of 5 by 5, 5 by 10, 5 by 20, 1 by 40, 8 by 40, and 10 by 40 separately. The resultant OHC distribution is shown from (b) to (g).« less

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Estimating Oceanic Heat Content Change Using Isotherms
journal, October 2009


Dominance of the Southern Ocean in Anthropogenic Carbon and Heat Uptake in CMIP5 Models
journal, January 2015

  • Frölicher, Thomas L.; Sarmiento, Jorge L.; Paynter, David J.
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 28, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00117.1

Historical Ocean Subsurface Temperature Analysis with Error Estimates
journal, January 2003


Significant decadal-scale impact of volcanic eruptions on sea level and ocean heat content
journal, November 2005

  • Church, John A.; White, Neil J.; Arblaster, Julie M.
  • Nature, Vol. 438, Issue 7064
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature04237

Human-induced global ocean warming on multidecadal timescales
journal, June 2012

  • Gleckler, P. J.; Santer, B. D.; Domingues, C. M.
  • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 2, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1553

Warming of the world ocean, 1955–2003
journal, January 2005


Quantifying underestimates of long-term upper-ocean warming
journal, October 2014

  • Durack, Paul J.; Gleckler, Peter J.; Landerer, Felix W.
  • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 4, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2389

A review of global ocean temperature observations: Implications for ocean heat content estimates and climate change: REVIEW OF OCEAN OBSERVATIONS
journal, September 2013

  • Abraham, J. P.; Baringer, M.; Bindoff, N. L.
  • Reviews of Geophysics, Vol. 51, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1002/rog.20022

The Response of Tropical Atmospheric Energy Budgets to ENSO
journal, July 2013

  • Mayer, Michael; Trenberth, Kevin E.; Haimberger, Leopold
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 26, Issue 13
  • DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00681.1

An Overview of CMIP5 and the Experiment Design
journal, April 2012

  • Taylor, Karl E.; Stouffer, Ronald J.; Meehl, Gerald A.
  • Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 93, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00094.1

Observed changes in top-of-the-atmosphere radiation and upper-ocean heating consistent within uncertainty
journal, January 2012

  • Loeb, Norman G.; Lyman, John M.; Johnson, Gregory C.
  • Nature Geoscience, Vol. 5, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1375

Ocean heat uptake and its consequences for the magnitude of sea level rise and climate change: OCEAN HEAT UPTAKE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES
journal, September 2012

  • Kuhlbrodt, T.; Gregory, J. M.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 39, Issue 18
  • DOI: 10.1029/2012GL052952

Has there been a hiatus?
journal, August 2015


World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level change (0-2000 m), 1955-2010: WORLD OCEAN HEAT CONTENT
journal, May 2012

  • Levitus, S.; Antonov, J. I.; Boyer, T. P.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 39, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1029/2012GL051106

Influences of the Choice of Climatology on Ocean Heat Content Estimation
journal, February 2015


Fifty-Year Trends in Global Ocean Salinities and Their Relationship to Broad-Scale Warming
journal, August 2010


THE WCRP CMIP3 Multimodel Dataset: A New Era in Climate Change Research
journal, September 2007

  • Meehl, Gerald A.; Covey, Curt; Delworth, Thomas
  • Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 88, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-88-9-1383

The global ocean imprint of ENSO: THE GLOBAL OCEAN IMPRINT OF ENSO
journal, July 2011

  • Roemmich, Dean; Gilson, John
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 38, Issue 13
  • DOI: 10.1029/2011GL047992

XBT Science: Assessment of Instrumental Biases and Errors
journal, June 2016

  • Cheng, Lijing; Abraham, John; Goni, Gustavo
  • Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 97, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00031.1

Constraining climate model parameters from observed 20th century changes
journal, January 2008


Unabated planetary warming and its ocean structure since 2006
journal, February 2015

  • Roemmich, Dean; Church, John; Gilson, John
  • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 5, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2513

Tracking Earth’s Energy: From El Niño to Global Warming
journal, October 2011


An imperative to monitor Earth's energy imbalance
journal, January 2016

  • von Schuckmann, K.; Palmer, M. D.; Trenberth, K. E.
  • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 6, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2876

An objective ocean temperature and salinity analysis using covariances from a global climate model
journal, January 2007

  • Smith, Doug M.; Murphy, James M.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 112, Issue C2
  • DOI: 10.1029/2005JC003172

Distinctive climate signals in reanalysis of global ocean heat content: SIGNALS IN OCEAN HEAT CONTENT
journal, May 2013

  • Balmaseda, Magdalena A.; Trenberth, Kevin E.; Källén, Erland
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 40, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1002/grl.50382

Climate Drift in the CMIP5 Models
journal, November 2013

  • Gupta, Alexander Sen; Jourdain, Nicolas C.; Brown, Jaclyn N.
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 26, Issue 21
  • DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00521.1

Artifacts in variations of ocean heat content induced by the observation system changes: OHC ARTIFACTS BY OBSERVING SYSTEM CHANGE
journal, October 2014

  • Cheng, Lijing; Zhu, Jiang
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 41, Issue 20
  • DOI: 10.1002/2014GL061881

Time, Probe Type, and Temperature Variable Bias Corrections to Historical Expendable Bathythermograph Observations
journal, August 2014

  • Cheng, Lijing; Zhu, Jiang; Cowley, Rebecca
  • Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, Vol. 31, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1175/JTECH-D-13-00197.1

Estimating Global Ocean Heat Content Changes in the Upper 1800 m since 1950 and the Influence of Climatology Choice
journal, March 2014


A new perspective on warming of the global oceans
journal, January 2009

  • Palmer, M. D.; Good, S. A.; Haines, K.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 36, Issue 20
  • DOI: 10.1029/2009GL039491

Improved estimates of upper-ocean warming and multi-decadal sea-level rise
journal, June 2008

  • Domingues, Catia M.; Church, John A.; White, Neil J.
  • Nature, Vol. 453, Issue 7198
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature07080

Reevaluation of historical ocean heat content variations with time-varying XBT and MBT depth bias corrections
journal, June 2009


Robust warming of the global upper ocean
journal, May 2010

  • Lyman, John M.; Good, Simon A.; Gouretski, Viktor V.
  • Nature, Vol. 465, Issue 7296
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature09043

Internal variability of Earth’s energy budget simulated by CMIP5 climate models
journal, March 2014


A Comparative Analysis of Upper-Ocean Heat Content Variability from an Ensemble of Operational Ocean Reanalyses
journal, October 2012


Volcanic and Solar Forcing of the Tropical Pacific over the Past 1000 Years
journal, February 2005

  • Mann, Michael E.; Cane, Mark A.; Zebiak, Stephen E.
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 18, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-3276.1

How much is the ocean really warming?
journal, January 2007

  • Gouretski, Viktor; Koltermann, Klaus Peter
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 34, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1029/2006GL027834

Earth’s Energy Imbalance
journal, May 2014

  • Trenberth, Kevin E.; Fasullo, John T.; Balmaseda, Magdalena A.
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 27, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00294.1

Industrial-era global ocean heat uptake doubles in recent decades
journal, January 2016

  • Gleckler, Peter J.; Durack, Paul J.; Stouffer, Ronald J.
  • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 6, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2915

An Energy Conservation Analysis of Ocean Drift in the CMIP5 Global Coupled Models
journal, March 2016

  • Hobbs, Will; Palmer, Matthew D.; Monselesan, Didier
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 29, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0477.1

Consistency of the current global ocean observing systems from an Argo perspective
journal, January 2014

  • von Schuckmann, K.; Sallée, J. -B.; Chambers, D.
  • Ocean Science, Vol. 10, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.5194/os-10-547-2014

Revisiting the Earth's sea-level and energy budgets from 1961 to 2008: SEA-LEVEL AND ENERGY BUDGETS
journal, September 2011

  • Church, John A.; White, Neil J.; Konikow, Leonard F.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 38, Issue 18
  • DOI: 10.1029/2011GL048794

Ocean heat content variability and change in an ensemble of ocean reanalyses
journal, September 2015


Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.