U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Human Induced Warming in the Oceans
Published: June 13, 2005
Posted: July 06, 2005

A DOE funded study that appears in the June 2 issue of Science Express indicates a warming signal has penetrated into the world's oceans over the past 40 years. The patterns of warming are examined as a function of amount, location, and time on an ocean-by-ocean basis. The physics responsible for the observed trends is discussed. The signal is complex, with a vertical structure that varies widely by ocean; it cannot be explained by natural internal climate variability or solar and volcanic forcing. It is well simulated by two anthropogenically forced climate models. Changes in advection combine with surface forcing to give the overall warming pattern. The results are robust to observational sampling and model differences.

Reference: Barnett, T.P., D. Pierce, K. AchutaRao, P. Gleckler, B. Santer, J. Gregory, and W. Washington. 2005. "Penetration of a Warming Signal into the Worlds Oceans: Human Impacts," Science Express

Contact: Anjuli S Bamzai, SC-23.3, (301) 903-0294
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
      (formerly SC-23.3 Climate Change Research Division, OBER)


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