Human-induced warming of the global oceans


Large-scale increases in upper-ocean temperatures have been seen in observational records. Recent identification and removal of systematic instrumental biases in expendable bathythermograph (XBT) data has led to improved estimates of ocean temperature variability and trends and provide motivation to revisit earlier detection and attribution studies. The causes of ocean warming are examined using these improved observational estimates. Using well-established Detection & Attribution methods a positive identification (at the 1% significance level) of an anthropogenic fingerprint in observed upper-ocean temperature changes is obtained, thereby substantially strengthening existing evidence that human activity is driving ocean warming. These results have been published recently in the journal Nature Climate Change. 2, 524–529, (2012) doi:10.1038/nclimate1553 (Published online 10 June 2012)

Contact details: 

Krishna AchutaRao

Centre for Atmospheric Science