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Climate Indices from Marine Data. CCl/CLIVAR/JCOMM ETCCDI Workshop De Bilt 13-15 May 2008. Val Swail - Environment Canada, Toronto Scott Woodruff - NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder Elizabeth Kent - National Oceanography Centre, Southampton David Parker - Met Office, Exeter.

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Ccl clivar jcomm etccdi workshop de bilt 13 15 may 2008

Climate Indices from Marine Data

CCl/CLIVAR/JCOMM ETCCDI WorkshopDe Bilt 13-15 May 2008

Val Swail-Environment Canada, Toronto

Scott Woodruff - NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder

Elizabeth Kent - National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

David Parker - Met Office, Exeter

Climar iii third jcomm workshop on advances in marine climatology 6 9 may 2008 gdynia poland
CLIMAR-III:Third JCOMM Workshop on Advances in Marine Climatology6-9 May 2008, Gdynia, Poland

Foci anticipated for marine indices

detection and attribution of climate change

impact on marine industries (fishing, shipping, oil and gas production, tourism)

sea-level change

marine hazards (extreme winds and waves, harmful algal blooms, pollution)

changes in hydrological cycle

changes in ocean circulation

changes in sea ice and ice bergs

effects on coastal communities

ocean acidification


Questions posed to climar iii

What observational data are needed (available) for climate change detection and attribution?

What analyses of these data can provide information useful for climate change detection and attribution?

What international coordination on data issues would improve climate change detection and attribution?

What are the indices with most impact?

What indices should we include on version 1 of our list for marine indices?

How can we use what we have learned about data set uncertainties for indices?

How do we make indices available to users? Common web site such as ETCCDI or links to that site?

How do we develop indices for inclusion in IPCC AR5 in 2013 with increased focus on extremes and regional aspects?

What other products should we consider for marine climatology?


Characteristics required from indices

Indices should cover a range of change detection and attribution? time and space scales, multi-decadal to daily, global to regional and be relevant to their target audience

Indices should represent important impact-relevant aspects of the climate system and where possible link to the IPCC.

It must be possible to calculate and update the indices from existing data.

The indices must be prioritized due to limits in capacity.

Indices can synthesize information and reduce noise by combining different components of the climate system.

Indices should be based on homogenized and quality controlled datasets, well-understood models or reanalyses, or reliable predictions.

Indices should have a good signal to noise ratio.

A subset of indices should be suitable for presentation to politicians

Common climate indices should be developed for models and observations

Indices should be robust for detection, important and doable


Marine data sources and programs

ICOADS – ships (from 1662), moored and drifting buoys change detection and attribution?

World Ocean Database (WOD)

Global Digital Sea Ice Data Bank (GDSIDB)

Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL)

Derived data sets – HadISST, HadSLP, HadGOA ( )

Satellite – SST, wind, wave, ice, sea level


Shipboard Automated Meteorological and Oceanographic System Initiative

Global Ocean Surface Underway Data Pilot Project

Ship Observations Team

Data Buoy Cooperation Panel


Ocean Sites

Global Sea Level Observing System

International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project

Global Temperature and Salinity Profile Program



Ccl clivar jcomm etccdi workshop de bilt 13 15 may 2008
Annual numbers of marine reports in ICOADS, stratified by platform type for 1936 to 2005(Woodruff et al. 2008)

The potential for marine indices
The potential for marine indices platform type for 1936 to 2005

Operational marine indices
“Operational” Marine Indices platform type for 1936 to 2005

  • Large Scale Pressure Indices

    • Calculated by many different groups.

    • Selection available from Ocean Observing Panel for Climate (OOPC) website.

    • Link to existing sources

  • Large Scale Temperatures Indices

    • Global mean temperature.

    • Gridded temperature anomalies.

    • Long term datasets, back to 1850

    • Available from

    • El Nino (e.g. Nino 3.4 Temperatures), link to OOPC website

  • Sea Ice

    • E.g. global scale ice extent; regional ice extents

    • Available from JCOMM Expert Team on Sea Ice or US National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Oopc state of the ocean
OOPC State of the Ocean platform type for 1936 to 2005

Multivariate enso index mei
Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) platform type for 1936 to 2005

  • Based on the six main observed variables over the tropical Pacific: sea-level pressure, zonal and meridional surface wind, surface air and sea temperature and total cloudiness fraction, in ICOADS.

  • MEI is calculated as the first unrotated Principal Component (PC) of all six observed fields combined. Negative values of the MEI represent the cold ENSO phase, La Niña, while positive MEI values represent the warm ENSO phase (El Niño).


Global temperature
Global temperature platform type for 1936 to 2005

Monthly anomalies: 1850 – Jul 2006

Annual Anomalies and uncertainties


Temperature trend over 1901 2003
Temperature trend over 1901-2003 platform type for 1936 to 2005

Monthly surface temperature sept 2006
Monthly Surface Temperature Sept. 2006 platform type for 1936 to 2005



Tropical Central and EastPacific SST Anomalies, 1850-2005

Trends in warm days 1950 2003
Trends in warm days platform type for 1936 to 20051950-2003

Days with tmax > 90th percentile

Blue and red dots indicate trends significant at the 5% confidence level. Crosses denote non-significant trends.

Annual sea ice extent changes 1973 2006 updated from ipcc 2001
Annual sea-ice extent changes, 1973-2006 (updated from IPCC, 2001)

Antarctic sea-ice

Arctic sea ice

Not declining since 1976

Retreating until late1990s.

Little retreat 1998-2003

2006 record lowso far

Background ocean heat uptake

Heat content for Anomaly for the upper 300m 2001)

Lyman et al., [2006]

See Gregory et al. [2004]

Background: ocean heat uptake

  • Questions:

  • What is the rate of oceanic heat uptake? (trend?)

  • Is the decadal variability seen in the observations (but not the models) real?

  • To address these questions we

  • require:

  • Comprehensive error estimates for observed time series.

  • Ocean climate indices with a high signal-to-noise ratio and small uncertainties.

Marine indices requiring resources
Marine Indices Requiring Resources 2001)

  • Temperature - air and sea – mean & percentiles

  • Humidity – mean or median

  • Cloud cover- mean

  • Wind and wave

    • mean, max, from observations

    • 10 and 90 percentiles, frequency greater than percentile thresholds (absolute values – gale and storm winds; 3 and 6 m waves?); sea and swell? From reanalysis or satellites?

  • Sea Level - mean global and regional anomalies

  • Storm Surge, Storm Tide, frequency, extreme

  • Sub-surface ocean

    • Salinity - surface salinity

    • Temperature – isotherm depth (which?)

    • heat content anomaly (to 300m)

    • water mass properties (volume of 18˚ water?)

Global wave climatology atlas s caires g komen a sterl v swail
Global Wave Climatology Atlas 2001)S. Caires, G. Komen, A. Sterl, V. Swail

Ccl clivar jcomm etccdi workshop de bilt 13 15 may 2008

1966 2001)


Monthly mean wind speed

Monthly mean sig. wave height

Number of gridpoints

Number of gridpoints

Number of gridpoints of a significant changepoint in the indicated year

Wind speed – locations of changepoint in Nov. 1966

Sig. wave height – location of changepoint in Nov. 1966

Year of changepoint

Year of changepoint



Grid-boxes of significant changepoint are shown in black

Ccl clivar jcomm etccdi workshop de bilt 13 15 may 2008

Monthly mean wind speed (m/s) at (40.5 2001)°N, 40.5°W)

Monthly mean sig. wave height (m) at (40.5°N, 40.5°W)

Nov. 1966

Dec. 1997

Nov. 1966

Dec. 1997

Gloss network sea level storm surge indices
GLOSS Network 2001)Sea level, storm surge indices

Ccl clivar jcomm etccdi workshop de bilt 13 15 may 2008

HadGOA: monitoring water masses 2001)

Eighteen Degree Water (subtropical mode water (STMW)) volume in the North Atlantic

(defined as volume of water with temperature between

18.5 C and 17.5 C in the subtropical North Atlantic).

CO2 Uptake (Bates et al).

Correlated with the NAO at lag 6 yrs (NAO leads the EDW) r=0.36 for

‘winter’ (Feb, Mar, Apr) after Kwon & Riser, 2004

Source: HadGOA

Changes in mean t and isotherm depths
Changes in mean 2001)T and isotherm depths

  • Deepening of isotherms in

    N. Atlantic associated with change in phase of NAO.

  • Large areas of slight shoaling and smaller areas of large deepening

  • Wide-spread warming signal.

  • Less prone to aliasing from changes in ocean circulation than z-levels.

  • Greater insight into underlying physical mechanisms

Mean 14C isotherm depth

1985-2004 minus 1961-1980

Mean T above 14C isotherm

More speculative marine indices
More Speculative Marine Indices 2001)

  • Temperature - min, max and higher percentiles

  • Wind and wave - higher percentiles and extremes

  • Measures of persistence

  • Storm Surge inundation zones

  • Sea Ice – ice thickness and stages of development; iceberg propagation

  • Currents

  • Biological – Harmful Algal Blooms, coral bleaching

  • Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

Enabling mechanisms

ICOADS 2001)- Critical and critically under-resourced

Proposed new initiative for value-added ICOADS (QC, bias corrections, etc.)

JCOMM Expert Teams

Wind Waves and Storm Surges

Sea Ice

Marine Climatology

Task Team on the Marine-meteorological and Oceanographic Summaries (TT-MOCS)

Task Team on Delayed-Mode VOS (TT-DMVOS)

Engage expertise within the CLIMAR community to assist in the development and production of marine indices(

Liaise with other groups interested in marine indices such as the AOPC and OOPC

Enabling Mechanisms

The end
The End! 2001)