Impacts of climate change on air-sea exchanges of heat and water
Simon A. Josey and David I. Berry
Josey, S. A. and Berry, D. I. (2013) Impacts of climate change on air-sea exchanges of heat and water, MCCIP ScienceReview 2013, 87-90, doi:10.14465/2013.arc10.087-090
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Changes in the air-sea fluxes of heat and freshwater are expected as a result of anthropogenic climate change. Studies of increasing observed ocean heat content place a limit of about 0.5 W m-2 on the increase in the global ocean mean net surface heat flux. Given the high level of uncertainty in available flux datasets this signal is likely to be very difficult to detect. A similar situation holds for the surface freshwater flux, for which there are additional problems associated with obtaining reliable long-term estimates of precipitation. Observations of changing ocean salinity suggest a strengthening of the hydrological cycle but further research is required to link this to changing freshwater flux. Variations in freshwater exchanges in the UK marine environment may also occur as a result of shifts in the spatial patterns of the major modes of atmospheric variability.