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The ocean is warming, isn't it?
Trenberth, K.E. (2010). The ocean is warming, isn't it? Nature (Lond.) 465(7296): 304
In: Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science. Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 0028-0836, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

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  • Trenberth, K.E.

Abstract
    The upper ocean acts as a giant heat sink and has absorbed the majority of excess energy generated by anthropogenic greenhouse gasses. This makes ocean heat content, potentially, a key indicator of climate change. But to be useful for evaluating the global energy balance and as a constraint on climate models, the measurement uncertainties of such a key indicator need to be well understood. At present the magnitude of the oceanic heat uptake is highly uncertain, with patterns of inter-annual variability in particular differing among estimates. In a major international collaboration, Lyman et al. compare the available upper-ocean heat content anomaly curves and examine the sources of uncertainly attached to them — including the difficulties in correcting bias in expendable bathythermograph data. They find that, uncertainties notwithstanding, there is clear and robust evidence for a warming trend of 0.64 watts per square metre between 1993 and 2008.

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