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Surface warming hiatus caused by increased heat uptake across multiple ocean basins

Drijfhout, S.S.; Blaker, A.T.; Josey, S.A.; Nurser, A.J.G.; Sinha, B.; Balmaseda, M.A.. 2014 Surface warming hiatus caused by increased heat uptake across multiple ocean basins. Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (22). 7868-7874. 10.1002/2014GL061456

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Abstract/Summary

The first decade of the twenty-first century was characterised by a hiatus in global surface warming. Using ocean model hindcasts and reanalyses we show that heat uptake between the 1990s and 2000s increased by 0.7 ± 0.3Wm−2. Approximately 30% of the increase is associated with colder sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific. Other basins contribute via reduced heat loss to the atmosphere, in particular the Southern and subtropical Indian Oceans (30%), and the subpolar North Atlantic (40%). A different mechanism is important at longer timescales (1960s-present) over which the Southern Annular Mode trended upwards. In this period, increased ocean heat uptake has largely arisen from reduced heat loss associated with reduced winds over the Agulhas Return Current and southward displacement of Southern Ocean westerlies.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1002/2014GL061456
ISSN: 00948276
Additional Keywords: climate hiatus
Date made live: 13 Nov 2014 13:42 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/508810

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