Mechanisms of ocean heat uptake in a coupled climate model and the implications for tracer based predictions of ocean heat uptake
Banks, H. T. and Gregory, J. M. (2006) Mechanisms of ocean heat uptake in a coupled climate model and the implications for tracer based predictions of ocean heat uptake. Geophysical Research Letters, 33 (7). ISSN 0094-8276
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2005GL025352.
The distribution of tracers in the ocean is often taken as an indication of the ventilation pathways for oceanic water masses. It has been suggested that under anthropogenic forcing heat will be taken up into the interior of the ocean along isopycnal ventilation pathways. This notion is investigated by examining distributions of potential temperature and a passive anomaly temperature tracer in a coupled climate experiment where CO2 is increased at a rate of 2% per year. We show that interior temperature changes cannot be explained solely by passive tracer transport along isopycnals. Heat uptake is strongly affected by changes in circulation and has a substantial diapycnal component.