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A global assessment of marine heatwaves and their drivers


Holbrook, NJ and Scannell, HA and Sen Gupta, A and Benthuysen, JA and Feng, M and Oliver, ECJ and Alexander, LV and Burrows, MT and Donat, MG and Hobday, AJ and Moore, PJ and Perkins-Kirkpatrick, SE and Smale, DA and Straub, SC and Wernberg, T, A global assessment of marine heatwaves and their drivers, Nature Communications, 10 Article 2624. ISSN 2041-1723 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41467-019-10206-z


Marine heatwaves (MHWs) can cause devastating impacts to marine life. Despite the serious consequences of MHWs, our understanding of their drivers is largely based on isolated case studies rather than any systematic unifying assessment. Here we provide the first global assessment under a consistent framework by combining a confidence assessment of the historical refereed literature from 1950 to February 2016, together with the analysis of MHWs determined from daily satellite sea surface temperatures from 19822016, to identify the important local processes, large-scale climate modes and teleconnections that are associated with MHWs regionally. Clear patterns emerge, including coherent relationships between enhanced or suppressed MHW occurrences with the dominant climate modes across most regions of the globe an important exception being western boundary current regions where reports of MHW events are few and ocean-climate relationships are complex. These results provide a global baseline for future MHW process and prediction studies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:marine heatwaves, impacts to marine life, MHWs, drivers
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Climate variability (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Holbrook, NJ (Professor Neil Holbrook)
UTAS Author:Oliver, ECJ (Dr Eric Oliver)
ID Code:133273
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:183
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2019-06-20
Last Modified:2020-07-17
Downloads:47 View Download Statistics

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