National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2011

Future observations for monitoring global ocean heat content

Palmer, M.D., J. Antonov, P. Barker, N. Bindoff, T. Boyer, M. Carson, C.M. Domingues, S. Gille, P. Gleckler, S. Good, V. Gouretski, S. Guinehut, K. Haines, D.E. Harrison, M. Ishii, G.C. Johnson, S. Levitus, M.S. Lozier, J.M. Lyman, A. Meijers, K. von Schuckmann, D. Smith, S. Wijffels, and J. Willis

doi: 10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.68, In Proceedings of the "OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society" Conference (Vol. 2), Venice, Italy, 21–25 September 2009, Hall, J., D.E. Harrison, and D. Stammer, Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306 (2010)

This community white paper outlines the requirements of the future observing system necessary for measuring and advancing understanding of global ocean heat uptake and heat content variability, with an emphasis on the in situ observing system. We review the progress made in observation-based estimates of ocean heat uptake since Ocean Obs '99 and propose a future observational strategy.

Some of the key scientific questions addressed are:

  1. What future observations are required to monitor global ocean heat content?
  2. How has new technology improved our ability to make estimates of ocean heat uptake?
  3. What are the current estimates of global and regional ocean heat uptake and what are the uncertainties?
  4. What is the impact of instrumental biases and gridding methodology on estimates of ocean heat uptake?

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