02 Aug 2023
 | 02 Aug 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Exploring Multi-decadal Time Series of Temperature Extremes in Australian Coastal Waters

Michael Hemming, Moninya Roughan, and Amandine Schaeffer

Abstract. The intensity and frequency of extreme ocean temperature events, such as Marine Heatwaves (MHWs) and Marine cold-spells (MCSs), are expected to change as our oceans warm. Little is known about marine extremes in Australian coastal waters, particularly below the surface. Here we introduce a multi-decadal observational record of extreme ocean temperature events starting in the 1940s/50s between the surface and the bottom (50–100 m) at 4 coastal sites around Australia; the Australian Multi-decadal Ocean Time Series EXTreme (AMDOT-EXT) data product. The data products include indices indicating the timing of extreme warm and cold temperature events, their intensity, and the corresponding temperature time series and climatology thresholds. We include MHWs, MCSs and shorter duration heat spikes and cold spikes. For MHWs and MCSs, which are defined as anomalies above the seasonally-varying 90th percentile lasting more than 5 days, we also provide further event information, such as their category, and onset and decline rates. Using these multi-decadal data products we show the most intense and longest extreme temperature events at these sites, which have occurred below the surface. These data records highlight the value of long-term full water column ocean data for the identification of extreme temperature events below the surface.

Michael Hemming et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2023-252', Anonymous Referee #1, 29 Aug 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2023-252', Anonymous Referee #2, 06 Sep 2023

Michael Hemming et al.

Michael Hemming et al.


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Short summary
We present new data sets that are useful for exploring extreme ocean temperature events in Australian coastal waters. These data sets span multiple decades, starting from the 1940s/50s and include observations from the surface to the bottom at four coastal sites. The data sets provide valuable insights into the intensity, frequency, and timing of extreme warm and cold temperature events, and include event characteristics such as duration, onset and decline rates, and their categorization.