Jun 10, 2012

Human-induced global ocean warming on multidecadal timescales

P. J. Gleckler, B. D. Santer, C. M. Domingues, D. W. Pierce, T. P. Barnett, J. A. Church, K. E. Taylor, K. M. AchutaRao, T. P. Boyer, M. Ishii, P. M. Caldwell
Nature Climate Change
  • States that large-scale increases in upper-ocean temperatures are evident in observational records
  • States that several studies have used well-established detection and attribution methods to demonstrate that the observed basin-scale temperature changes are consistent with model responses to anthropogenic forcing and inconsistent with model-based estimates of natural variability; these studies relied on a single observational data set and employed results from only one or two model
  • Examines the causes of ocean warming using improved observational estimates, together with results from a large multimodel archive of externally forced and unforced simulation
  • The study's detection and attribution analysis systematically examines the sensitivity of results to a variety of model and data-processing choices
  • When global mean changes are included, the study consistently obtains a positive identification (at the 1% significance level) of an anthropogenic fingerprint in observed upper-ocean temperature changes, thereby substantially strengthening existing detection and attribution evidence