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Extremely High Sea Surface Temperatures in 2023
  • +5
  • Boyin Huang,
  • Xungang Yin,
  • James Carton,
  • Ligang Chen,
  • Garrett Graham,
  • Patrick Hogan,
  • Thomas Smith,
  • Huai-Min Zhang
Boyin Huang

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Xungang Yin
James Carton
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Ligang Chen
Dept. Atmos. Oceanic Science, UMD
Garrett Graham
North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies, North Carolina State University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Patrick Hogan
Thomas Smith
NOAA/Center for Satellite Applications and Research
Huai-Min Zhang


NOAA’s Daily Optimum Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature (DOISST) indicates that globally averaged sea surface temperature (SST) broke record in March 2023 and set new record highs in April, July, and August 2023. This has raised intense media interest and public concern about causes and connections to climate change. Our analysis indicates that the record high SSTs qualified as marine heatwaves (MHWs) and even super-MHWs as defined in this study, and are attributed to three factors: (i) a linear trend, (ii) a shift to the warm phase of the multi-decadal Pacific-Atlantic-Arctic Oscillation (PAO) pattern which is identified in this study, and (iii) the transition from the triple-dip succession of La Niña events to the 2023 El Niño event.
One-Sentence Summary
The extreme warm SSTs in 2023 resulted from linear warming trends, a pattern of low-frequency oscillation, and the El Niño event.
30 Oct 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
02 Nov 2023Published in ESS Open Archive