How fast are the oceans warming?

  title={How fast are the oceans warming?},
  author={Lijing Cheng and John P. Abraham and Zeke Hausfather and Kevin E. Trenberth},
  pages={128 - 129}
Observational records of ocean heat content show that ocean warming is accelerating Climate change from human activities mainly results from the energy imbalance in Earth's climate system caused by rising concentrations of heat-trapping gases. About 93% of the energy imbalance accumulates in the ocean as increased ocean heat content (OHC). The ocean record of this imbalance is much less affected by internal variability and is thus better suited for detecting and attributing human influences (1… 

Projected ocean warming constrained by the ocean observational record

The ocean absorbs most of the excess heat from anthropogenic climate change, causing global ocean warming and sea-level rise with a series of consequences for human society and marine ecosystems.

Another Record: Ocean Warming Continues through 2021 despite La Niña Conditions

The increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from human activities traps heat within the climate system and increases ocean heat content (OHC). Here, we provide the first

Observations of planetary heating since the 1980s from multiple independent datasets

Time series of global mean surface temperature are widely used to measure the rate of climate change that results from Earth’s energy imbalance. However, studies based on climate model simulations

Measuring Global Ocean Heat Content to Estimate the Earth Energy Imbalance

The energy radiated by the Earth towards space does not compensate the incoming radiation from the Sun leading to a small positive energy imbalance at the top of the atmosphere (0.4-1.Wm-2). This

Divergent trajectories of ocean warming and acidification

The ocean provides a major sink for anthropogenic heat and carbon. This sink results in ocean changes through the dual stressors of warming and acidification which can negatively impact the health of

Heat stored in the Earth system: where does the energy go?

Abstract. Human-induced atmospheric composition changes cause a radiative imbalance at the top of the atmosphere which is driving global warming. This Earth energy imbalance (EEI) is the most

Ocean surface energy balance allows a constraint on the sensitivity of precipitation to global warming

Using observations of the ocean surface energy balance as a hydrological constraint, it is found that historical warming intensified precipitation at a rate of 0.68 ± 0.51% K−1, which is slightly higher than the multi-model mean calculation for the historical climate.

Enhanced hydrological cycle increases ocean heat uptake and moderates transient climate change

It is demonstrated that surface salinification driven by the amplified dry conditions, primarily in the subtropical ocean, accelerates ocean heat uptake and suggests that model spread in near-term climate sensitivity may be due in part to hydrological cycle and salinity differences.

Climate change cumulative impacts on deep-sea ecosystems

  • N. BrisL. Levin
  • Environmental Science
    Natural Capital and Exploitation of the Deep Ocean
  • 2020
Climate models report that the environmental changes resulting from excess CO2 and heat absorption by the ocean already reach many deep-ocean margins, basins, and seas. Decadal monitoring programmes

Climate velocity reveals increasing exposure of deep-ocean biodiversity to future warming

Slower warming in the deep ocean encourages a perception that its biodiversity is less exposed to climate change than that of surface waters. We challenge this notion by analysing climate velocity,



Distinctive climate signals in reanalysis of global ocean heat content

The elusive nature of the post‐2004 upper ocean warming has exposed uncertainties in the ocean's role in the Earth's energy budget and transient climate sensitivity. Here we present the time

Improved estimates of upper-ocean warming and multi-decadal sea-level rise

Improved estimates of near-global ocean heat content and thermal expansion for the upper 300 m and 700’m of the ocean for 1950–2003 are reported, using statistical techniques that allow for sparse data coverage and applying recent corrections to reduce systematic biases in the most common ocean temperature observations.

Improved estimates of ocean heat content from 1960 to 2015

The inferred integrated EEI is greater than that reported in previous assessments and is consistent with a reconstruction of the radiative imbalance at the top of atmosphere starting in 1985, and OHC changes in six major oceans are reliable on decadal time scales.

Quantification of ocean heat uptake from changes in atmospheric O2 and CO2 composition

An independent estimate based on atmospheric O2 and CO2 measurements suggests that ocean warming is at the high end of previous estimates, with implications for policy-relevant measurements of the Earth response to climate change, such as climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases and the thermal component of sea-level rise.

A review of global ocean temperature observations: Implications for ocean heat content estimates and climate change

The evolution of ocean temperature measurement systems is presented with a focus on the development and accuracy of two critical devices in use today (expendable bathythermographs and

Hurricane Harvey Links to Ocean Heat Content and Climate Change Adaptation

While hurricanes occur naturally, human‐caused climate change is supercharging them and exacerbating the risk of major damage. Here using ocean and atmosphere observations, we demonstrate links

Sensitivity of Global Upper-Ocean Heat Content Estimates to Mapping Methods, XBT Bias Corrections, and Baseline Climatologies*

AbstractOcean warming accounts for the majority of the earth’s recent energy imbalance. Historic ocean heat content (OHC) changes are important for understanding changing climate. Calculations of OHC

World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level change (0–2000 m), 1955–2010

We provide updated estimates of the change of ocean heat content and the thermosteric component of sea level change of the 0–700 and 0–2000 m layers of the World Ocean for 1955–2010. Our estimates

Quantifying underestimates of long-term upper-ocean warming

The ocean stores over 90% of the heat due to anthropogenic warming. This study uses satellite observations and climate models to investigate the warming of the upper ocean (0–700 m) and finds that

The changing character of precipitation

Abstract From a societal, weather, and climate perspective, precipitation intensity, duration, frequency, and phase are as much of concern as total amounts, as these factors determine the disposition