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  1. Abstract Northward ocean heat transport at 26°N in the Atlantic Ocean has been measured since 2004. The ocean heat transport is large—approximately 1.25 PW, and on interannual time scales it exhibits surprisingly large temporal variability. There has been a long-term reduction in ocean heat transport of 0.17 PW from 1.32 PW before 2009 to 1.15 PW after 2009 (2009–16) on an annual average basis associated with a 2.5-Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1) drop in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). The reduction in the AMOC has cooled and freshened the upper ocean north of 26°N over an area following the offshore edge of the Gulf Stream/North Atlantic Current from the Bahamas to Iceland. Cooling peaks south of Iceland where surface temperatures are as much as 2°C cooler in 2016 than they were in 2008. Heat uptake by the atmosphere appears to have been affected particularly along the path of the North Atlantic Current. For the reduction in ocean heat transport, changes in ocean heat content account for about one-quarter of the long-term reduction in ocean heat transport while reduced heat uptake by the atmosphere appears to account for the remainder of the change in ocean heat transport.
  2. Abstract. Human-induced atmospheric composition changes cause a radiative imbalance atthe top of the atmosphere which is driving global warming. This Earth energy imbalance (EEI) is the most critical number defining the prospects for continued global warming and climate change. Understanding the heat gain ofthe Earth system – and particularly how much and where the heat isdistributed – is fundamental to understanding how this affects warmingocean, atmosphere and land; rising surface temperature; sea level; and lossof grounded and floating ice, which are fundamental concerns for society.This study is a Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) concertedinternational effort to update the Earth heat inventory and presents anupdated assessment of ocean warming estimates as well as new and updated estimatesof heat gain in the atmosphere, cryosphere and land over the period1960–2018. The study obtains a consistent long-term Earth system heat gainover the period 1971–2018, with a total heat gain of 358±37 ZJ,which is equivalent to a global heating rate of 0.47±0.1 W m−2.Over the period 1971–2018 (2010–2018), the majority of heat gain is reportedfor the global ocean with 89 % (90 %), with 52 % for both periods inthe upper 700 m depth, 28 % (30 %) for the 700–2000 m depth layer and 9 % (8 %) below 2000 m depth. Heat gain over land amountsmore »to 6 %(5 %) over these periods, 4 % (3 %) is available for the melting ofgrounded and floating ice, and 1 % (2 %) is available for atmospheric warming. Ourresults also show that EEI is not only continuing, but also increasing: the EEIamounts to 0.87±0.12 W m−2 during 2010–2018. Stabilization ofclimate, the goal of the universally agreed United Nations Framework Convention on ClimateChange (UNFCCC) in 1992 and the ParisAgreement in 2015, requires that EEI be reduced to approximately zero toachieve Earth's system quasi-equilibrium. The amount of CO2 in theatmosphere would need to be reduced from 410 to 353 ppm to increase heatradiation to space by 0.87 W m−2, bringing Earth back towards energybalance. This simple number, EEI, is the most fundamental metric that thescientific community and public must be aware of as the measure of how wellthe world is doing in the task of bringing climate change under control, andwe call for an implementation of the EEI into the global stocktake based onbest available science. Continued quantification and reduced uncertaintiesin the Earth heat inventory can be best achieved through the maintenance ofthe current global climate observing system, its extension into areas ofgaps in the sampling, and the establishment of an international framework forconcerted multidisciplinary research of the Earth heat inventory aspresented in this study. This Earth heat inventory is published at the German Climate Computing Centre (DKRZ,, last access: 7 August 2020) under the DOI Schuckmann et al., 2020).« less