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Assessing recent warming using instrumentally homogeneous sea surface temperature records

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Abstract

Instrumentally homogeneous SST records show a cooling bias in composite SST products and validate recent NOAA recent record revision.

Abstract

Sea surface temperature (SST) records are subject to potential biases due to changing instrumentation and measurement practices. Significant differences exist between commonly used composite SST reconstructions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Extended Reconstruction Sea Surface Temperature (ERSST), the Hadley Centre SST data set (HadSST3), and the Japanese Meteorological Agency’s Centennial Observation-Based Estimates of SSTs (COBE-SST) from 2003 to the present. The update from ERSST version 3b to version 4 resulted in an increase in the operational SST trend estimate during the last 19 years from 0.07° to 0.12°C per decade, indicating a higher rate of warming in recent years. We show that ERSST version 4 trends generally agree with largely independent, near-global, and instrumentally homogeneous SST measurements from floating buoys, Argo floats, and radiometer-based satellite measurements that have been developed and deployed during the past two decades. We find a large cooling bias in ERSST version 3b and smaller but significant cooling biases in HadSST3 and COBE-SST from 2003 to the present, with respect to most series examined. These results suggest that reported rates of SST warming in recent years have been underestimated in these three data sets.

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CLIMATE CHANGE. Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus.

Much study has been devoted to the possible causes of an apparent decrease in the upward trend of global surface temperatures since 1998, a phenomenon that has been dubbed the global warming "hiatus." Here, we present an updated global surface temperature analysis that reveals that global trends are higher than those reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, especially in recent decades, and that the central estimate for the rate of warming during the first 15 years of the 21st century is at least as great as the last half of the 20th century. These results do not support the notion of a "slowdown" in the increase of global surface temperature.

Author and article information

Affiliations
[1]Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
[2]Berkeley Earth, Berkeley, CA 94705, USA.
[3]Department of Chemistry, University of York, York, U.K.
[4]Independent Researcher, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
[5]Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA.
[6]NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA.
Author notes
[*]Corresponding author. Email: hausfath@123456berkeley.edu
Journal
Sci Adv
Sci Adv
SciAdv
advances
Science Advances
American Association for the Advancement of Science
2375-2548
January 2017
04 January 2017
: 3
: 1
Copyright © 2017, The Authors

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

Categories
Research Article
Research Articles
SciAdv r-articles
Climate Change
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Florcloven Cruz
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