26 Jul 2023
 | 26 Jul 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Monitoring the regional Ocean Heat Content change over the Atlantic Ocean with the space geodetic approach

Victor Rousseau, Robin Fraudeau, Matthew Hammond, Odilon Joël Houndegnonto, Michaël Ablain, Alejandro Blazquez, Fransisco Mir Calafat, Damien Desbruyères, Giuseppe Foti, William Llovel, Florence Marti, Benoît Meyssignac, Marco Restano, and Jérôme Benveniste

Abstract. The estimation of the regional Ocean Heat Content (OHC) is essential for climate analysis and future climate predictions. In this study, we propose a method to estimate and propagate uncertainties in regional OHC changes. The OHC is estimated with space geodetic steric data corrected from salinity variations estimated with in situ measurements. A variance-covariance matrix method is used to propagate uncertainties from space geodetic data to the OHC change. The integrated OHC change over the Atlantic basin is 0.17 W m-2  which represents 21 % of the global OHC trend, with significant trends observed in 52 % of the Atlantic basin. Uncertainties in OHC trends are mainly attributed to manometric sea level change uncertainties. We validate our space geodetic OHC estimates at two test sites, representing the subtropical and subpolar regions of the North Atlantic, highlighting their importance in understanding climate dynamics. Our results show good agreement between space geodetic estimates and in situ measurements in the North Atlantic region. The space geodetic OHC trends reveal a warming pattern in the southern and western parts of the North Atlantic, particularly in the Gulf Stream region, while the northeastern part exhibits cooling trends. Overall, our study provides valuable insights and a new framework to estimate regional OHC change and its uncertainties, contributing to a better understanding of the Earth's climate system and its future projections. The space geodetic OHC change product (version 1.0) is freely available at (Magellium/LEGOS, 2022)

Victor Rousseau et al.

Status: open (until 02 Nov 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on essd-2023-236', Armin Koehl, 28 Aug 2023 reply

Victor Rousseau et al.

Data sets

Atlantic OHC from space: Heat content change over the Atlantic Ocean by space geodetic approach Magellium/LEGOS

Victor Rousseau et al.


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Short summary
The estimation of regional Ocean Heat Content (OHC) is crucial for climate analysis and future climate predictions. In our study, we accurately estimate regional OHC changes in the Atlantic Ocean using satellite and in situ data. Findings reveal significant warming in the Atlantic basin from 2002 to 2020 with a mean trend of 0.17W/m², representing 230 times the power of global nuclear plants. The product has also been successfully validated in the North Atlantic basin using in situ data.