National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce

Ocean Heat Uptake Doubles In Recent Decades

An Argo float being deployed. Credit: Alicia Navidad/CSIRO.

January 18, 2016

NOAA scientists and collaborators from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have just published a paper in Nature Climate Change that shows that approximately half of the global ocean heat content increase since 1865 has occurred over the past two decades. This study included ocean temperature measurements that went as far back as the 19th century and compared them with a suite of climate models to analyze changes over time. While the majority of measurements are from the upper ocean, study results show the deep ocean is storing an increasing fraction of the Earth's net heat uptake as a result of global warming with time. To get more temperature measurements of the deep ocean, PMEL is working with university partners to develop and deploy regional pilot arrays of Deep Argo floats, which can measure to depth of 6,000 meters.

Read the press release from NOAA Research and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and learn more about Large Scale Ocean Physics at PMEL.