Piotrowicz Stephen R.

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Stephen R.

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  • Article
    Measuring global ocean heat content to estimate the Earth energy Imbalance
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-08-20) Meyssignac, Benoit ; Boyer, Tim ; Zhao, Zhongxiang ; Hakuba, Maria Z. ; Landerer, Felix ; Stammer, Detlef ; Kohl, Armin ; Kato, Seiji ; L’Ecuyer, Tristan S. ; Ablain, Michaël ; Abraham, John Patrick ; Blazquez, Alejandro ; Cazenave, Anny ; Church, John A. ; Cowley, Rebecca ; Cheng, Lijing ; Domingues, Catia M. ; Giglio, Donata ; Gouretski, Viktor ; Ishii, Masayoshi ; Johnson, Gregory C. ; Killick, Rachel E. ; Legler, David ; Llovel, William ; Lyman, John ; Palmer, Matthew D. ; Piotrowicz, Stephen R. ; Purkey, Sarah G. ; Roemmich, Dean ; Roca, Rémy ; Savita, Abhishek ; von Schuckmann, Karina ; Speich, Sabrina ; Stephens, Graeme ; Wang, Gongjie ; Wijffels, Susan E. ; Zilberman, Nathalie
    The energy radiated by the Earth toward space does not compensate the incoming radiation from the Sun leading to a small positive energy imbalance at the top of the atmosphere (0.4–1 Wm–2). This imbalance is coined Earth’s Energy Imbalance (EEI). It is mostly caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and is driving the current warming of the planet. Precise monitoring of EEI is critical to assess the current status of climate change and the future evolution of climate. But the monitoring of EEI is challenging as EEI is two orders of magnitude smaller than the radiation fluxes in and out of the Earth system. Over 93% of the excess energy that is gained by the Earth in response to the positive EEI accumulates into the ocean in the form of heat. This accumulation of heat can be tracked with the ocean observing system such that today, the monitoring of Ocean Heat Content (OHC) and its long-term change provide the most efficient approach to estimate EEI. In this community paper we review the current four state-of-the-art methods to estimate global OHC changes and evaluate their relevance to derive EEI estimates on different time scales. These four methods make use of: (1) direct observations of in situ temperature; (2) satellite-based measurements of the ocean surface net heat fluxes; (3) satellite-based estimates of the thermal expansion of the ocean and (4) ocean reanalyses that assimilate observations from both satellite and in situ instruments. For each method we review the potential and the uncertainty of the method to estimate global OHC changes. We also analyze gaps in the current capability of each method and identify ways of progress for the future to fulfill the requirements of EEI monitoring. Achieving the observation of EEI with sufficient accuracy will depend on merging the remote sensing techniques with in situ measurements of key variables as an integral part of the Ocean Observing System.
  • Article
    The Argo Program : present and future
    (Oceanography Society, 2017-06) Jayne, Steven R. ; Roemmich, Dean ; Zilberman, Nathalie ; Riser, Stephen C. ; Johnson, Kenneth S. ; Johnson, Gregory C. ; Piotrowicz, Stephen R.
    The Argo Program has revolutionized large-scale physical oceanography through its contributions to basic research, national and international climate assessment, education, and ocean state estimation and forecasting. This article discusses the present status of Argo and enhancements that are underway. Extensions of the array into seasonally ice-covered regions and marginal seas as well as increased numbers of floats along the equator and around western boundary current extensions have been proposed. In addition, conventional Argo floats, with their 2,000 m sampling limit, currently observe only the upper half of the open ocean volume. Recent advances in profiling float technology and in the accuracy and stability of float-mounted conductivity-temperature-depth sensors make it practical to obtain measurements to 6,000 m. The Deep Argo array will help observe and constrain the global budgets of heat content, freshwater, and steric sea level, as well as the full-depth ocean circulation. Finally, another extension to the Argo Program is the addition of a diverse set of chemical sensors to profiling floats in order to build a Biogeochemical-Argo array to understand the carbon cycle, the biological pump, and ocean acidification.