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Anthropogenic temperature and salinity changes in the Southern Ocean


Hobbs, WR and Roach, C and Roy, T and Sallee, J-B and Bindoff, N, Anthropogenic temperature and salinity changes in the Southern Ocean, Journal of Climate, 34, (1) pp. 215-228. ISSN 0894-8755 (2020) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2020 American Meteorological Society

DOI: doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-20-0454.1


In this study, we compare observed Southern Ocean temperature and salinity changes with the historical simulations from 13 models the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project version 5 (CMIP5), using an optimal fingerprinting framework. We show that there is an unequivocal greenhouse gas-forced warming in the Southern Ocean. This warming is strongest in the Sub-Antarctic Mode Waters, but is also detectable in denser watermasses which has not been shown in previous studies. We also find greenhouse gas-forced salinity changes, most notably a freshening of Antarctic Intermediate Waters. Our analysis also shows that non-greenhouse gas anthropogenic forcings - anthropogenic aerosols and stratospheric ozone depletion – have played an important role in mitigating the Southern Ocean’s warming. However, the detectability of these responses using optimal fingerprinting is model-dependent, and this result is therefore not as robust as for the greenhouse gas response.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Southern Ocean, attribution, climate change, coupled models, model comparison
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:Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Hobbs, WR (Dr Will Hobbs)
UTAS Author:Bindoff, N (Professor Nathan Bindoff)
ID Code:141607
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2020-11-03
Last Modified:2021-03-23
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