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The relation between natural variations in ocean heat uptake and global mean surface temperature anomalies in CMIP5

The relation between natural variations in ocean heat uptake and global mean surface temperature anomalies in CMIP5
The relation between natural variations in ocean heat uptake and global mean surface temperature anomalies in CMIP5

It is still unclear whether a hiatus period arises due to a vertical redistribution of ocean heat content (OHC) without changing ocean heat uptake (OHU), or whether the increasing radiative forcing is associated with an increase in OHU when global mean surface temperature (GMST) rise stalls. By isolating natural variability from forced trends and performing a more precise lead-lag analysis, we show that in climate models TOA radiation and OHU do anti-correlate with natural variations in GMST, when GMST leads or when they coincide, but the correlation changes sign when OHU leads. Surface latent and sensible heat fluxes always force GMST-variations, whilst net surface longwave and solar radiation fluxes have a damping effect, implying that natural GMST-variations are caused by oceanic heat redistribution. In the models an important trigger for a hiatus period on decadal timescales is increased reflection of solar radiation, by increased sea-ice cover over deep-water formation areas. On inter-annual timescales, reflection of solar radiation in the tropics by increased cloud cover associated with La Niña is most important and the subsequent reduction in latent heat release becomes the dominant cause for a hiatus.

2045-2322
Drijfhout, Sybren
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13
Drijfhout, Sybren
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13

Drijfhout, Sybren (2018) The relation between natural variations in ocean heat uptake and global mean surface temperature anomalies in CMIP5. Scientific Reports, 8 (1), [7402]. (doi:10.1038/s41598-018-25342-7).

Record type: Article

Abstract

It is still unclear whether a hiatus period arises due to a vertical redistribution of ocean heat content (OHC) without changing ocean heat uptake (OHU), or whether the increasing radiative forcing is associated with an increase in OHU when global mean surface temperature (GMST) rise stalls. By isolating natural variability from forced trends and performing a more precise lead-lag analysis, we show that in climate models TOA radiation and OHU do anti-correlate with natural variations in GMST, when GMST leads or when they coincide, but the correlation changes sign when OHU leads. Surface latent and sensible heat fluxes always force GMST-variations, whilst net surface longwave and solar radiation fluxes have a damping effect, implying that natural GMST-variations are caused by oceanic heat redistribution. In the models an important trigger for a hiatus period on decadal timescales is increased reflection of solar radiation, by increased sea-ice cover over deep-water formation areas. On inter-annual timescales, reflection of solar radiation in the tropics by increased cloud cover associated with La Niña is most important and the subsequent reduction in latent heat release becomes the dominant cause for a hiatus.

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s41598-018-25342-7 - Version of Record
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Accepted/In Press date: 18 April 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 May 2018
Published date: 1 December 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 421253
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/421253
ISSN: 2045-2322
PURE UUID: a20ce90e-dd62-4d90-9000-f329ea945565

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Date deposited: 29 May 2018 16:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 00:12

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