North Atlantic Ocean Heat Content Dropping Rapidly
By Paul Homewood
Ole Humlum’s excellent site, Climate4you, has just published the latest Ocean Heat Content data, now up to March 2016. They show some interesting things happening in the North Atlantic.
First, let’s look at the area highlighted below:
Map showing the North Atlantic area within 60-0W and 30-65N, for which the heat content within the uppermost 700 m is shown in the two diagrams below.
Global monthly heat content anomaly (GJ/m2) in the uppermost 700 m of the North Atlantic (60-0W, 30-65N) ocean since January 1955. The thin line indicate monthly values, and the thick line represents the simple running 37 month (c. 3 year) average. Data source: National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC). Last period shown: January-March 2016. Last diagram update 7 June 2016.
We have become familiar with the cold blob, which has developed at the ocean surface in the northern part of the North Atlantic during the last couple of years, but it is evident that it has been getting much colder below the surface as well, down at least to 700 m. Temperatures are now back down to where they were in the early 1990s.
(It is also worth noting that the 1970s marked the coldest period in the record). Unfortunately we don’t have data for the warm 1930s and 40s.
Ole also shows below the Argo data for the 59 N, 30-0W transect. (On the map at the top, you can see this relates to the line from the Shetlands to just west of Iceland).
This particular section is deemed to be important because it sits across the main part of the North Atlantic Current.
Average temperature along 59 N, 30-0W, 0-800m depth, corresponding to the main part of the North Atlantic Current, using Argo-data. Source: Global Marine Argo Atlas. Latest month shown: March 2016. Last diagram update: 7 June 2016.
Again we see a steep decline in the last few years. But significantly we can see the time depth diagram below as well.
Time-depth temperature diagram along 59 N, 0-800 m depth, across the North Atlantic Current. Temperatures in Degrees Celcius. Source: Global Marine Argo Atlas. Latest month shown: March 2016. Last diagram update: 7 June 2016.
What this shows clearly is that the cold has been building up from the bottom.
It has been claimed that “melting Arctic ice” is been responsible for colder SSTs. The ARGO data proves that this is not true.
We are reminded that it is the oceans and their cycles which dominate the Earth’s climate.
The AMO is continuing to flatline in positive territory, but are the OHC figures the first sign that things might be beginning to change?
Climate4you monthly updates are available here: