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Monthly Heat Content Anomalies

The ocean is supposed to be capturing large amounts of heat due to ongoing climate change. However, due to the complex response of the ocean-atmosphere system this do not imply a homogeneous warming at all sites and depths but a more heterogeneous response and the monitoring of ocean heat content at different sites is critical to properly evaluate the Earth system warming.

The water column from surface to 1000 m near AGL station has warmed about 0.3 C since 1994. This water column comprises the surface waters from surface to the base of the mixed layer (about 250 m in winter), the East North Atlantic Central Waters (ENACW), from the base of the mixed layer to about 500-550 m and below it the upper Mediterranean Water (MW), with its core at about 1000 m. See 2005 and 2009 for an explanation of waters masses variability in southern Biscay.

Next figure provides the overall series and last values of temperature and salinity from the hydrographical sampling.

  • Monthly Heat Content