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Damien Desbruyères, Elaine L. McDonagh, Brian A. King, and Virginie Thierry
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Damien Desbruyères, Elaine L. McDonagh, Brian A. King, and Virginie Thierry

Abstract

The early twenty-first century’s warming trend of the full-depth global ocean is calculated by combining the analysis of Argo (top 2000 m) and repeat hydrography into a blended full-depth observing system. The surface-to-bottom temperature change over the last decade of sustained observation is equivalent to a heat uptake of 0.71 ± 0.09 W m−2 applied over the surface of Earth, 90% of it being found above 2000-m depth. The authors decompose the temperature trend pointwise into changes in isopycnal depth (heave) and temperature changes along an isopycnal (spiciness) to describe the mechanisms controlling the variability. The heave component dominates the global heat content increase, with the largest trends found in the Southern Hemisphere’s extratropics (0–2000 m) highlighting a volumetric increase of subtropical mode waters. Significant heave-related warming is also found in the deep North Atlantic and Southern Oceans (2000–4000 m), reflecting a potential decrease in deep water mass renewal rates. The spiciness component shows its strongest contribution at intermediate levels (700–2000 m), with striking localized warming signals in regions of intense vertical mixing (North Atlantic and Southern Oceans). Finally, the agreement between the independent Argo and repeat hydrography temperature changes at 2000 m provides an overall good confidence in the blended heat content evaluation on global and ocean scales but also highlights basin-scale discrepancies between the two independent estimates. Those mismatches are largest in those basins with the largest heave signature (Southern Ocean) and reflect both the temporal and spatial sparseness of the hydrography sampling.

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Fabienne Gaillard, Thierry Reynaud, Virginie Thierry, Nicolas Kolodziejczyk, and Karina von Schuckmann

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The In Situ Analysis System (ISAS) was developed to produce gridded fields of temperature and salinity that preserve as much as possible the time and space sampling capabilities of the Argo network of profiling floats. Since the first global reanalysis performed in 2009, the system has evolved, and a careful delayed-mode processing of the 2002–12 dataset has been carried out using version 6 of ISAS and updating the statistics to produce the ISAS13 analysis. This last version is now implemented as the operational analysis tool at the Coriolis data center. The robustness of the results with respect to the system evolution is explored through global quantities of climatological interest: the ocean heat content and the steric height. Estimates of errors consistent with the methodology are computed. This study shows that building reliable statistics on the fields is fundamental to improve the monthly estimates and to determine the absolute error bars. The new mean fields and variances deduced from the ISAS13 reanalysis and dataset show significant changes relative to the previous ISAS estimates, in particular in the Southern Ocean, justifying the iterative procedure. During the decade covered by Argo, the intermediate waters appear warmer and saltier in the North Atlantic and fresher in the Southern Ocean than in World Ocean Atlas 2005 long-term mean. At interannual scale, the impact of ENSO on the ocean heat content and steric height is observed during the 2006/07 and 2009/10 events captured by the network.

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