Friday, January 27, 2017

Ocean Heat Content Up for the Quarter, Down for the Year

Ocean heat content is heading back up again, after the El Nino apparently took a lot of heat out ocean and sent it into the atmosphere.

The latest numbers show the top 0-700 m region of the ocean gained 0.74 W/m2 compared to 3Q16, and the top 0-2000 m region gained 1.50 W/m2.

But compared to a year ago, 4Q16, they're down -0.55 W/m2 and -0.44 W/m2 respectively.

The acceleration of the heat content of the 0-2000 m region -- only for the direct measurements, not the pentadatal numbers -- is down to 0.01 ± 0.03 (W/m2)/yr (2σ uncertainty; no autocorrelation) -- barely positive.

I think the time period of the (good) Argo 0-2000 m data -- just 12 years -- is still too short to make meaningful conclusions about acceleration. Though, admittedly, that didn't stop me from doing so in the past.

Some graphs:

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