What caused the significant increase in Atlantic Ocean heat content since the mid-20th century?

Sang Ki Lee, Wonsun Park, Erik Van Sebille, Molly O. Baringer, Chunzai Wang, David B. Enfield, Stephen G. Yeager, Benjamin Kirtman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As the upper layer of the world ocean warms gradually during the 20th century, the inter-ocean heat transport from the Indian to Atlantic basin should be enhanced, and the Atlantic Ocean should therefore gain extra heat due to the increased upper ocean temperature of the inflow via the Agulhas leakage. Consistent with this hypothesis, instrumental records indicate that the Atlantic Ocean has warmed substantially more than any other ocean basin since the mid-20th century. A surface-forced global ocean-ice coupled model is used to test this hypothesis and to find that the observed warming trend of the Atlantic Ocean since the 1950s is largely due to an increase in the inter-ocean heat transport from the Indian Ocean. Further analysis reveals that the increased inter-ocean heat transport is not only caused by the increased upper ocean temperature of the inflow but also, and more strongly, by the increased Agulhas Current leakage, which is augmented by the strengthening of the wind stress curl over the South Atlantic and Indian subtropical gyre.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL17607
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume38
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

Fingerprint

Atlantic Ocean
oceans
enthalpy
ocean
ocean temperature
heat
upper ocean
leakage
inflow
Indian Ocean
ocean basin
global ocean
gyre
wind stress
ice
warming
trends
heating
basin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geophysics

Cite this

What caused the significant increase in Atlantic Ocean heat content since the mid-20th century? / Lee, Sang Ki; Park, Wonsun; Van Sebille, Erik; Baringer, Molly O.; Wang, Chunzai; Enfield, David B.; Yeager, Stephen G.; Kirtman, Benjamin.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 38, No. 17, L17607, 2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lee, SK, Park, W, Van Sebille, E, Baringer, MO, Wang, C, Enfield, DB, Yeager, SG & Kirtman, B 2011, 'What caused the significant increase in Atlantic Ocean heat content since the mid-20th century?', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 38, no. 17, L17607. https://doi.org/10.1029/2011GL048856
Lee, Sang Ki ; Park, Wonsun ; Van Sebille, Erik ; Baringer, Molly O. ; Wang, Chunzai ; Enfield, David B. ; Yeager, Stephen G. ; Kirtman, Benjamin. / What caused the significant increase in Atlantic Ocean heat content since the mid-20th century?. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2011 ; Vol. 38, No. 17.
@article{c4e3c5118fdb439aa3dd21b16efb5d66,
title = "What caused the significant increase in Atlantic Ocean heat content since the mid-20th century?",
abstract = "As the upper layer of the world ocean warms gradually during the 20th century, the inter-ocean heat transport from the Indian to Atlantic basin should be enhanced, and the Atlantic Ocean should therefore gain extra heat due to the increased upper ocean temperature of the inflow via the Agulhas leakage. Consistent with this hypothesis, instrumental records indicate that the Atlantic Ocean has warmed substantially more than any other ocean basin since the mid-20th century. A surface-forced global ocean-ice coupled model is used to test this hypothesis and to find that the observed warming trend of the Atlantic Ocean since the 1950s is largely due to an increase in the inter-ocean heat transport from the Indian Ocean. Further analysis reveals that the increased inter-ocean heat transport is not only caused by the increased upper ocean temperature of the inflow but also, and more strongly, by the increased Agulhas Current leakage, which is augmented by the strengthening of the wind stress curl over the South Atlantic and Indian subtropical gyre.",
author = "Lee, {Sang Ki} and Wonsun Park and {Van Sebille}, Erik and Baringer, {Molly O.} and Chunzai Wang and Enfield, {David B.} and Yeager, {Stephen G.} and Benjamin Kirtman",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.1029/2011GL048856",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "38",
journal = "Geophysical Research Letters",
issn = "0094-8276",
publisher = "American Geophysical Union",
number = "17",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - What caused the significant increase in Atlantic Ocean heat content since the mid-20th century?

AU - Lee, Sang Ki

AU - Park, Wonsun

AU - Van Sebille, Erik

AU - Baringer, Molly O.

AU - Wang, Chunzai

AU - Enfield, David B.

AU - Yeager, Stephen G.

AU - Kirtman, Benjamin

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - As the upper layer of the world ocean warms gradually during the 20th century, the inter-ocean heat transport from the Indian to Atlantic basin should be enhanced, and the Atlantic Ocean should therefore gain extra heat due to the increased upper ocean temperature of the inflow via the Agulhas leakage. Consistent with this hypothesis, instrumental records indicate that the Atlantic Ocean has warmed substantially more than any other ocean basin since the mid-20th century. A surface-forced global ocean-ice coupled model is used to test this hypothesis and to find that the observed warming trend of the Atlantic Ocean since the 1950s is largely due to an increase in the inter-ocean heat transport from the Indian Ocean. Further analysis reveals that the increased inter-ocean heat transport is not only caused by the increased upper ocean temperature of the inflow but also, and more strongly, by the increased Agulhas Current leakage, which is augmented by the strengthening of the wind stress curl over the South Atlantic and Indian subtropical gyre.

AB - As the upper layer of the world ocean warms gradually during the 20th century, the inter-ocean heat transport from the Indian to Atlantic basin should be enhanced, and the Atlantic Ocean should therefore gain extra heat due to the increased upper ocean temperature of the inflow via the Agulhas leakage. Consistent with this hypothesis, instrumental records indicate that the Atlantic Ocean has warmed substantially more than any other ocean basin since the mid-20th century. A surface-forced global ocean-ice coupled model is used to test this hypothesis and to find that the observed warming trend of the Atlantic Ocean since the 1950s is largely due to an increase in the inter-ocean heat transport from the Indian Ocean. Further analysis reveals that the increased inter-ocean heat transport is not only caused by the increased upper ocean temperature of the inflow but also, and more strongly, by the increased Agulhas Current leakage, which is augmented by the strengthening of the wind stress curl over the South Atlantic and Indian subtropical gyre.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=80052728634&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=80052728634&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1029/2011GL048856

DO - 10.1029/2011GL048856

M3 - Article

VL - 38

JO - Geophysical Research Letters

JF - Geophysical Research Letters

SN - 0094-8276

IS - 17

M1 - L17607

ER -