The Ocean's Transient Response to Global Surface Temperature Anomalies

  1. James E. Hansen and
  2. Taro Takahashi
  1. K. Bryan1,
  2. F.G. Komro1 and
  3. C. Rooth2

Published Online: 19 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM029p0029

Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity

Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity

How to Cite

Bryan, K., Komro, F.G. and Rooth, C. (1984) The Ocean's Transient Response to Global Surface Temperature Anomalies, in Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity (eds J. E. Hansen and T. Takahashi), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM029p0029

Author Information

  1. 1

    Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory/NOAA, Princeton, New Jersey 08540

  2. 2

    Rosenstiel School of Oceanography, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1984

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875904047

Online ISBN: 9781118666036

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Keywords:

  • Climatology—Congresses;
  • Geophysics—Congresses;
  • Ocean-atmosphere interaction—Congresses

Summary

Transient tracers are not perfect analogues for the downward penetration of a heat anomaly associated with climate change. Buoyancy effects associated with a temperature anomaly can significantly alter the stratification and thermohaline circulation. To investigate these effects a three-dimensional model of the world ocean is perturbed by spatially uniform surface anomalies, and the response calculated over a 50 year period. The penetration depth for a negative temperature anomaly of 0.5°C is 25% greater than that for a positive anomaly. The penetration depth is found to be approximately one half the pycnocline depth after 10 years, and one pycnocline depth after 40 years. Both a simple two box model, and a box diffusion model provide a reasonable fit to the globally averaged results of the more general three-dimensional model.