The Ocean's Transient Response to Global Surface Temperature Anomalies
- James E. Hansen and
- Taro Takahashi
Published Online: 19 MAR 2013
Copyright 1984 by the American Geophysical Union.
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
- Published Online: 19 MAR 2013
- Published Print: 1 JAN 1984
Print ISBN: 9780875904047
Online ISBN: 9781118666036
- Ocean-atmosphere interaction—Congresses
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.