Johnson, G.C. (2017): Overview. In State of the Climate in 2016, Global Oceans. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 98 (8), S63
Johnson, G.C., J.M. Lyman, T. Boyer, C.M. Domingues, J. Gilson, M. Ishii, R. Killick, D. Monselan, and S. Wijffels (2017): Ocean heat content. In State of the Climate in 2016, Global Oceans. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 98 (8), S66–S69
Johnson, G.C., J. Reagan, J.M. Lyman, T. Boyer, C. Schmid, and R. Locarnini (2017): Salinity. In State of the Climate in 2016, Global Oceans. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 98 (8), S69–S75
Feely, R.A., R. Wanninkhof, P. Landschützer, B.R. Carter, and J.A. Triñanes (2017): Ocean carbon. In State of the Climate in 2016, Global Oceans. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 98 (8), S89–S92.
Overland, J., E. Hanna, I. Hanssen-Bauer, S.-J. Kim, J.E. Walsh, M. Wang, U.S. Bhatt, and R.L. Thoman (2017): Arctic air temperature. In State of the Climate in 2016, The Arctic. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 98 (8), S130–S131.
NOAA has led, for 27 years, a team of international scientists in issuing annual reports on the state of the climate focusing on the year just passed. The State of the Climate in 2016 report, published as a supplement to Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society in August 2017, is the most recent release of this report. Seven Federal, JISAO (Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington), and JIMAR (Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, University of Hawaii) scientists resident at PMEL co-authored four of twelve sections in the Global Oceans chapter, as well as one section and one sidebar in the Arctic chapter, for the report. In addition, Dr. Gregory Johnson served as lead editor of the Global Oceans chapter.
Dr. Johnson’s overview for the Global Oceans chapter noted wide-ranging effects of the transition from a significant El Niño of 2015/16 to a mild La Niña by late 2016: Relatively small rises in global average sea-surface temperature and sea level were nonetheless record breakers. Upper ocean heat content fell slightly in 2016 relative to 2015, but was still near a record level. The ocean heat content section of that chapter, led by Drs. Johnson and John Lyman, noted the vertical redistribution of ocean temperature with the onset of La Niña, with the ocean surface cooling slightly through 2016 from record high levels attained in early 2016 as the subsurface ocean warmed. The sea surface salinity subsection, also authored by Drs. Johnson and Lyman, documented changes in surface salinity patterns including freshening around the Maritime Continent and salinity increases around Central America consistent with the transition to a weak La Niña. Drs. Richard Feely and Brendan Carter reported on recent estimates of the ocean uptake of carbon dioxide, about 26% of human emissions from 2006 to 2015, in the ocean carbon section, using both air-sea flux observations and inventories of subsurface carbon. The surface air temperature section of the Arctic chapter, authored by Drs. James Overland and Muyin Wang, highlighted the record warm 2016 air temperatures at land stations in the Arctic and the faster rate of warming of those land stations compared with global average land station values. Finally, Dr. Jessica Cross was lead author of a sidebar on Arctic Ocean acidification.
The report garnered significant media attention, including these wire stories by AFP and AP reporters that were picked up by multiple outlets:
Sheridan, Kerry (10 August 2017). Planet marks new highs for heat, pollutants, sea level in 2016: report. AFP
Borenstein, Seth (10 August 2017). 2016 weather report: Extreme and anything but normal, AP