von Schuckmann Karina

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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
    Evolving the physical global ocean observing system for research and application services through international coordination
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-08-06) Sloyan, Bernadette M. ; Wilkin, John L. ; Hill, Katherine Louise ; Chidichimo, Maria Paz ; Cronin, Meghan F. ; Johannessen, Johnny A. ; Karstensen, Johannes ; Krug, Marjolaine ; Lee, Tong ; Oka, Eitarou ; Palmer, Matthew D. ; Rabe, Benjamin ; Speich, Sabrina ; von Schuckmann, Karina ; Weller, Robert A. ; Yu, Weidong
    Climate change and variability are major societal challenges, and the ocean is an integral part of this complex and variable system. Key to the understanding of the ocean’s role in the Earth’s climate system is the study of ocean and sea-ice physical processes, including its interactions with the atmosphere, cryosphere, land, and biosphere. These processes include those linked to ocean circulation; the storage and redistribution of heat, carbon, salt and other water properties; and air-sea exchanges of heat, momentum, freshwater, carbon, and other gasses. Measurements of ocean physics variables are fundamental to reliable earth prediction systems for a range of applications and users. In addition, knowledge of the physical environment is fundamental to growing understanding of the ocean’s biogeochemistry and biological/ecosystem variability and function. Through the progress from OceanObs’99 to OceanObs’09, the ocean observing system has evolved from a platform centric perspective to an integrated observing system. The challenge now is for the observing system to evolve to respond to an increasingly diverse end user group. The Ocean Observations Physics and Climate panel (OOPC), formed in 1995, has undertaken many activities that led to observing system-related agreements. Here, OOPC will explore the opportunities and challenges for the development of a fit-for-purpose, sustained and prioritized ocean observing system, focusing on physical variables that maximize support for fundamental research, climate monitoring, forecasting on different timescales, and society. OOPC recommendations are guided by the Framework for Ocean Observing which emphasizes identifying user requirements by considering time and space scales of the Essential Ocean Variables. This approach provides a framework for reviewing the adequacy of the observing system, looking for synergies in delivering an integrated observing system for a range of applications and focusing innovation in areas where existing technologies do not meet these requirements.
  • Article
    Adequacy of the ocean observation system for quantifying regional heat and freshwater storage and change
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-08-29) Palmer, Matthew D. ; Durack, Paul J. ; Chidichimo, Maria Paz ; Church, John A. ; Cravatte, Sophie ; Hill, Katherine Louise ; Johannessen, Johnny A. ; Karstensen, Johannes ; Lee, Tong ; Legler, David ; Mazloff, Matthew R. ; Oka, Eitarou ; Purkey, Sarah G. ; Rabe, Benjamin ; Sallee, Jean-Baptiste ; Sloyan, Bernadette M. ; Speich, Sabrina ; von Schuckmann, Karina ; Willis, Josh ; Wijffels, Susan E.
    Considerable advances in the global ocean observing system over the last two decades offers an opportunity to provide more quantitative information on changes in heat and freshwater storage. Variations in these storage terms can arise through internal variability and also the response of the ocean to anthropogenic climate change. Disentangling these competing influences on the regional patterns of change and elucidating their governing processes remains an outstanding scientific challenge. This challenge is compounded by instrumental and sampling uncertainties. The combined use of ocean observations and model simulations is the most viable method to assess the forced signal from noise and ascertain the primary drivers of variability and change. Moreover, this approach offers the potential for improved seasonal-to-decadal predictions and the possibility to develop powerful multi-variate constraints on climate model future projections. Regional heat storage changes dominate the steric contribution to sea level rise over most of the ocean and are vital to understanding both global and regional heat budgets. Variations in regional freshwater storage are particularly relevant to our understanding of changes in the hydrological cycle and can potentially be used to verify local ocean mass addition from terrestrial and cryospheric systems associated with contemporary sea level rise. This White Paper will examine the ability of the current ocean observing system to quantify changes in regional heat and freshwater storage. In particular we will seek to answer the question: What time and space scales are currently resolved in different regions of the global oceans? In light of some of the key scientific questions, we will discuss the requirements for measurement accuracy, sampling, and coverage as well as the synergies that can be leveraged by more comprehensively analyzing the multi-variable arrays provided by the integrated observing system.
  • Article
    Heat stored in the Earth system: where does the energy go?
    (Copernicus Publications, 2020-09-07) von Schuckmann, Karina ; Cheng, Lijing ; Palmer, Matthew D. ; Hansen, James ; Tassone, Caterina ; Aicher, Valentin ; Adusumilli, Susheel ; Beltrami, Hugo ; Boyer, Tim ; Cuesta-Valero, Francisco José ; Desbruyeres, Damien ; Domingues, Catia M. ; García-García, Almudena ; Gentine, Pierre ; Gilson, John ; Gorfer, Maximilian ; Haimberger, Leopold ; Ishii, Masayoshi ; Johnson, Gregory C. ; Killick, Rachel E. ; King, Brian A. ; Kirchengast, Gottfried ; Kolodziejczyk, Nicolas ; Lyman, John ; Marzeion, Ben ; Mayer, Michael ; Monier, Maeva ; Monselesan, Didier Paolo ; Purkey, Sarah G. ; Roemmich, Dean ; Schweiger, Axel ; Seneviratne, Sonia I. ; Shepherd, Andrew ; Slater, Donald A. ; Steiner, Andrea K. ; Straneo, Fiammetta ; Timmermans, Mary-Louise ; Wijffels, Susan E.
    Human-induced atmospheric composition changes cause a radiative imbalance at the top of the atmosphere which is driving global warming. This Earth energy imbalance (EEI) is the most critical number defining the prospects for continued global warming and climate change. Understanding the heat gain of the Earth system – and particularly how much and where the heat is distributed – is fundamental to understanding how this affects warming ocean, atmosphere and land; rising surface temperature; sea level; and loss of grounded and floating ice, which are fundamental concerns for society. This study is a Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) concerted international effort to update the Earth heat inventory and presents an updated assessment of ocean warming estimates as well as new and updated estimates of heat gain in the atmosphere, cryosphere and land over the period 1960–2018. The study obtains a consistent long-term Earth system heat gain over the period 1971–2018, with a total heat gain of 358±37 ZJ, which is equivalent to a global heating rate of 0.47±0.1 W m−2. Over the period 1971–2018 (2010–2018), the majority of heat gain is reported for the global ocean with 89 % (90 %), with 52 % for both periods in the upper 700 m depth, 28 % (30 %) for the 700–2000 m depth layer and 9 % (8 %) below 2000 m depth. Heat gain over land amounts to 6 % (5 %) over these periods, 4 % (3 %) is available for the melting of grounded and floating ice, and 1 % (2 %) is available for atmospheric warming. Our results also show that EEI is not only continuing, but also increasing: the EEI amounts to 0.87±0.12 W m−2 during 2010–2018. Stabilization of climate, the goal of the universally agreed United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992 and the Paris Agreement in 2015, requires that EEI be reduced to approximately zero to achieve Earth's system quasi-equilibrium. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere would need to be reduced from 410 to 353 ppm to increase heat radiation to space by 0.87 W m−2, bringing Earth back towards energy balance. This simple number, EEI, is the most fundamental metric that the scientific community and public must be aware of as the measure of how well the world is doing in the task of bringing climate change under control, and we call for an implementation of the EEI into the global stocktake based on best available science. Continued quantification and reduced uncertainties in the Earth heat inventory can be best achieved through the maintenance of the current global climate observing system, its extension into areas of gaps in the sampling, and the establishment of an international framework for concerted multidisciplinary research of the Earth heat inventory as presented in this study. This Earth heat inventory is published at the German Climate Computing Centre (DKRZ, https://www.dkrz.de/, last access: 7 August 2020) under the DOI https://doi.org/10.26050/WDCC/GCOS_EHI_EXP_v2 (von Schuckmann et al., 2020).