Nerem R. Steven

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R. Steven

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  • Book chapter
    Global Oceans [in “State of the Climate in 2020”]
    (American Meteorological Society, 2021-08-01) Johnson, Gregory C. ; Lumpkin, Rick ; Alin, Simone R. ; Amaya, Dillon J. ; Baringer, Molly O. ; Boyer, Tim ; Brandt, Peter ; Carter, Brendan ; Cetinić, Ivona ; Chambers, Don P. ; Cheng, Lijing ; Collins, Andrew U. ; Cosca, Cathy ; Domingues, Ricardo ; Dong, Shenfu ; Feely, Richard A. ; Frajka-Williams, Eleanor E. ; Franz, Bryan A. ; Gilson, John ; Goni, Gustavo J. ; Hamlington, Benjamin D. ; Herrford, Josefine ; Hu, Zeng-Zhen ; Huang, Boyin ; Ishii, Masayoshi ; Jevrejeva, Svetlana ; Kennedy, John J. ; Kersalé, Marion ; Killick, Rachel E. ; Landschützer, Peter ; Lankhorst, Matthias ; Leuliette, Eric ; Locarnini, Ricardo ; Lyman, John ; Marra, John F. ; Meinen, Christopher S. ; Merrifield, Mark ; Mitchum, Gary ; Moat, Bengamin I. ; Nerem, R. Steven ; Perez, Renellys ; Purkey, Sarah G. ; Reagan, James ; Sanchez-Franks, Alejandra ; Scannell, Hillary A. ; Schmid, Claudia ; Scott, Joel P. ; Siegel, David A. ; Smeed, David A. ; Stackhouse, Paul W. ; Sweet, William V. ; Thompson, Philip R. ; Trinanes, Joaquin ; Volkov, Denis L. ; Wanninkhof, Rik ; Weller, Robert A. ; Wen, Caihong ; Westberry, Toby K. ; Widlansky, Matthew J. ; Wilber, Anne C. ; Yu, Lisan ; Zhang, Huai-Min
    This chapter details 2020 global patterns in select observed oceanic physical, chemical, and biological variables relative to long-term climatologies, their differences between 2020 and 2019, and puts 2020 observations in the context of the historical record. In this overview we address a few of the highlights, first in haiku, then paragraph form: La Niña arrives, shifts winds, rain, heat, salt, carbon: Pacific—beyond. Global ocean conditions in 2020 reflected a transition from an El Niño in 2018–19 to a La Niña in late 2020. Pacific trade winds strengthened in 2020 relative to 2019, driving anomalously westward Pacific equatorial surface currents. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs), upper ocean heat content, and sea surface height all fell in the eastern tropical Pacific and rose in the western tropical Pacific. Efflux of carbon dioxide from ocean to atmosphere was larger than average across much of the equatorial Pacific, and both chlorophyll-a and phytoplankton carbon concentrations were elevated across the tropical Pacific. Less rain fell and more water evaporated in the western equatorial Pacific, consonant with increased sea surface salinity (SSS) there. SSS may also have increased as a result of anomalously westward surface currents advecting salty water from the east. El Niño–Southern Oscillation conditions have global ramifications that reverberate throughout the report.