Variations of the Global Net Air–Sea Heat Flux during the “Hiatus” Period (2001–10)

Xinfeng Liang College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida

Search for other papers by Xinfeng Liang in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
and
Lisan Yu Department of Physical Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

Search for other papers by Lisan Yu in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

An assessment is made of the mean and variability of the net air–sea heat flux, Qnet, from four products (ECCO, OAFlux–CERES, ERA-Interim, and NCEP1) over the global ice-free ocean from January 2001 to December 2010. For the 10-yr “hiatus” period, all products agree on an overall net heat gain over the global ice-free ocean, but the magnitude varies from 1.7 to 9.5 W m−2. The differences among products are particularly large in the Southern Ocean, where they cannot even agree on whether the region gains or loses heat on the annual mean basis. Decadal trends of Qnet differ significantly between products. ECCO and OAFlux–CERES show almost no trend, whereas ERA-Interim suggests a downward trend and NCEP1 shows an upward trend. Therefore, numerical simulations utilizing different surface flux forcing products will likely produce diverged trends of the ocean heat content during this period. The downward trend in ERA-Interim started from 2006, driven by a peculiar pattern change in the tropical regions. ECCO, which used ERA-Interim as initial surface forcings and is constrained by ocean dynamics and ocean observations, corrected the pattern. Among the four products, ECCO and OAFlux–CERES show great similarities in the examined spatial and temporal patterns. Given that the two estimates were obtained using different approaches and based on largely independent observations, these similarities are encouraging and instructive. It is more likely that the global net air–sea heat flux does not change much during the so-called hiatus period.

Corresponding author address: Xinfeng Liang, College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, 140 7th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. E-mail: liang@usf.edu

Abstract

An assessment is made of the mean and variability of the net air–sea heat flux, Qnet, from four products (ECCO, OAFlux–CERES, ERA-Interim, and NCEP1) over the global ice-free ocean from January 2001 to December 2010. For the 10-yr “hiatus” period, all products agree on an overall net heat gain over the global ice-free ocean, but the magnitude varies from 1.7 to 9.5 W m−2. The differences among products are particularly large in the Southern Ocean, where they cannot even agree on whether the region gains or loses heat on the annual mean basis. Decadal trends of Qnet differ significantly between products. ECCO and OAFlux–CERES show almost no trend, whereas ERA-Interim suggests a downward trend and NCEP1 shows an upward trend. Therefore, numerical simulations utilizing different surface flux forcing products will likely produce diverged trends of the ocean heat content during this period. The downward trend in ERA-Interim started from 2006, driven by a peculiar pattern change in the tropical regions. ECCO, which used ERA-Interim as initial surface forcings and is constrained by ocean dynamics and ocean observations, corrected the pattern. Among the four products, ECCO and OAFlux–CERES show great similarities in the examined spatial and temporal patterns. Given that the two estimates were obtained using different approaches and based on largely independent observations, these similarities are encouraging and instructive. It is more likely that the global net air–sea heat flux does not change much during the so-called hiatus period.

Corresponding author address: Xinfeng Liang, College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, 140 7th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. E-mail: liang@usf.edu
Save
  • Booth, B. B. B., N. J. Dunstone, P. R. Halloran, T. Andrews, and N. Bellouin, 2012: Aerosols implicated as a prime driver of twentieth-century North Atlantic climate variability. Nature, 484, 228232, doi:10.1038/nature10946.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bourassa, M. A., and Coauthors, 2013: High-latitude ocean and sea ice surface fluxes: Challenges for climate research. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 94, 403423, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00244.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bromwich, D. H., and R. L. Fogt, 2004: Strong trends in the skill of the ERA-40 and NCEP–NCAR reanalyses in the high and midlatitudes of the Southern Hemisphere, 1958–2001. J. Climate, 17, 46034619, doi:10.1175/3241.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chen, X., and K.-K. Tung, 2014: Varying planetary heat sink led to global-warming slowdown and acceleration. Science, 345, 897903, doi:10.1126/science.1254937.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chiodo, G., and L. Haimberger, 2010: Interannual changes in mass consistent energy budgets from ERA-Interim and satellite data. J. Geophys. Res., 115, D02112, doi:10.1029/2009JD012049.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dee, D. P., and Coauthors, 2011: The ERA-Interim reanalysis: Configuration and performance of the data assimilation system. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 137, 553597, doi:10.1002/qj.828.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Forget, G., J. M. Campin, P. Heimbach, C. Hill, R. M. Ponte, and C. Wunsch, 2015: ECCO version 4: An integrated framework for non-linear inverse modeling and global ocean state estimation. Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 30713104, doi:10.5194/gmdd-8-3653-2015.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gulev, S. K., M. Latif, N. Keenlyside, W. Park, and K. P. Koltermann, 2013: North Atlantic Ocean control on surface heat flux on multidecadal timescales. Nature, 499, 464467, doi:10.1038/nature12268.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • IPCC, 2013: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Cambridge University Press, 1535 pp.

  • Jin, X., L. Yu, D. L. Jackson, and G. A. Wick, 2015: An improved near-surface specific humidity and air temperature climatology for the SSM/I satellite period. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 32, 412433, doi:10.1175/JTECH-D-14-00080.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Josey, S. A., S. Gulev, and L. Yu, 2013: Exchanges through the ocean surface. Ocean Circulation and Climate: A 21 Century Perspective, G. Siedler et al., Eds., Academic Press, 115–140.

  • Kalnay, E., and Coauthors, 1996: The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77, 437471, doi:10.1175/1520-0477(1996)077<0437:TNYRP>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Karl, T. R., and Coauthors, 2015: Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus. Science, 348, 14691472, doi:10.1126/science.aaa5632.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kato, S., N. G. Loeb, F. G. Rose, D. R. Doelling, D. A. Rutan, T. E. Caldwell, L. Yu, and R. A. Weller, 2013: Surface irradiances consistent with CERES-derived top-of-atmosphere shortwave and longwave irradiances. J. Climate, 26, 27192740, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00436.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Large, W. G., and S. G. Yeager, 2004: Diurnal to decadal global forcing for ocean and sea-ice models: The data sets and flux climatologies. NCAR Tech. Note TN-460+STR, 105 pp., doi:10.5065/D6KK98Q6.

  • Levitus, S., J. I. Antonov, T. P. Boyer, R. A. Locarnini, H. E. Garcia, and A. V. Mishonov, 2009: Global ocean heat content 1955–2008 in light of recently revealed instrumentation problems. Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L07608, doi:10.1029/2008GL037155.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Liang, X., C. Wunsch, P. Heimbach, and G. Forget, 2015: Vertical redistribution of oceanic heat content. J. Climate, 28, 38213833, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00550.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Loeb, N. G., B. A. Wielicki, D. R. Doelling, G. L. Smith, D. F. Keyes, S. Kato, N. Manalo- Smith, and T. Wong, 2009: Toward optimal closure of the Earth’s top-of-atmosphere radiation budget. J. Climate, 22, 748766, doi:10.1175/2008JCLI2637.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mayer, M., K. E. Trenberth, L. Haimberger, and J. T. Fasullo, 2013: The response of tropical atmospheric energy budgets to ENSO. J. Climate, 26, 47104724, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00681.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Meehl, G. A., J. M. Arblaster, J. T. Fasullo, A. Hu, and K. E. Trenberth, 2011: Model-based evidence of deep-ocean heat uptake during surface-temperature hiatus periods. Nat. Climate Change, 1, 360364, doi:10.1038/nclimate1229.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Solomon, S., J. S. Daniel, R. Neely, J.-P. Vernier, E. G. Dutton, and L. W. Thomason, 2011: The persistently variable background stratospheric aerosol layer and global climate change. Science, 333, 866870, doi:10.1126/science.1206027.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stammer, D., K. Ueyoshi, A. Köhl, W. G. Large, S. A. Josey, and C. Wunsch, 2004: Estimating air–sea fluxes of heat, freshwater, and momentum through global ocean data assimilation. J. Geophys. Res., 109, C05023, doi:10.1029/2003JC002082.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Trenberth, K. E., J. T. Fasullo, and J. Kiehl, 2009: Earth’s global energy budget. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90, 311323, doi:10.1175/2008BAMS2634.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Valdivieso, M., and Coauthors, 2016: An assessment of air–sea heat fluxes from ocean and coupled reanalyses. Climate Dyn., doi:10.1007/s00382-015-2843-3, in press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wunsch, C., and P. Heimbach, 2013: Dynamically and kinematically consistent global ocean circulation and ice state estimates. Ocean Circulation and Climate: A 21st Century Perspective, G. Siedler et al., Eds., Academic Press, 553–579.

  • Wunsch, C., and P. Heimbach, 2014: Bidecadal thermal changes in the abyssal ocean. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 44, 20132030, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-13-096.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yu, L., and R. A. Weller, 2007: Objectively analyzed air–sea heat fluxes for the global ice-free oceans (1981–2005). Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 88, 527539, doi:10.1175/BAMS-88-4-527.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yu, L., and X. Jin, 2014a: Confidence and sensitivity study of the OAFlux multisensor synthesis of the global ocean surface vector wind from 1987 onward. J. Geophys. Res., 119, 68426862, doi:10.1002/2014JC010194.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yu, L., and X. Jin, 2014b: Insights on the OAFlux ocean surface vector wind analysis merged from scatterometers and passive microwave radiometers (1987 onward). J. Geophys. Res., 119, 52445269, doi:10.1002/2013JC009648.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yu, L., X. Jin, and R. A. Weller, 2007: Annual, seasonal, and interannual variability of air–sea heat fluxes in the Indian Ocean. J. Climate, 20, 31903209, doi:10.1175/JCLI4163.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yu, L., X. Jin, and R. A. Weller, 2008: Multidecade global flux datasets from the Objectively Analyzed Air–Sea Fluxes (OAFlux) project: Latent and sensible heat fluxes, ocean evaporation, and related surface meteorological variables. OAFlux Project Tech. Rep. OA-2008-01, 64 pp.

  • Yu, L., and Coauthors, 2013: Towards achieving global closure of ocean heat and freshwater budgets: Recommendations for advancing research in air–sea fluxes through collaborative activities. WCRP Informal Series Rep. 13/2013, 42 pp.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 923 296 88
PDF Downloads 495 146 6