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Anthropogenic aerosols offsetting ocean warming less efficiently since the 1980s
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  • Taimoor Sohail,
  • Damien  Brent Irving,
  • Jan David Zika,
  • Jonathan M. Gregory
Taimoor Sohail
University of New South Wales

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Damien  Brent Irving
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
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Jan David Zika
University of New South Wales
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Jonathan M. Gregory
University of Reading
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Greenhouse gases and aerosols play a major role in controlling global climate change. Greenhouse gases drive a radiative imbalance which warms the ocean, while aerosols cool the ocean. Since 1980, the effective radiation felt by the planet due to anthropogenic aerosols has levelled off, global ocean cooling due to aerosols has decelerated, and greenhouse gas-driven ocean warming has accelerated. We explore the deceleration of aerosol-driven ocean cooling by quantifying a time- and spatially-varying ocean heat uptake efficiency, defined as the change in the rate of global ocean heat storage per degree of cooling surface temperature. In aerosol-only simulations, ocean heat uptake efficiency has decreased by 69% since the 1900s. The tropics and sub-tropics have driven this decrease, while the coldest fraction of the ocean continues to sustain cooling and high ocean heat uptake efficiency. Our results identify a growing trend towards less efficient ocean cooling due to aerosols.
14 Jul 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
20 Jul 2023Published in ESS Open Archive