Article

Climate Dynamics

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 333-342

Oceanic influences on recent continental warming

  • Gilbert P. CompoAffiliated withClimate Diagnostics Center, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and Physical Sciences Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Email author 
  • , Prashant D. SardeshmukhAffiliated withClimate Diagnostics Center, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and Physical Sciences Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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Abstract

Evidence is presented that the recent worldwide land warming has occurred largely in response to a worldwide warming of the oceans rather than as a direct response to increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) over land. Atmospheric model simulations of the last half-century with prescribed observed ocean temperature changes, but without prescribed GHG changes, account for most of the land warming. The oceanic influence has occurred through hydrodynamic-radiative teleconnections, primarily by moistening and warming the air over land and increasing the downward longwave radiation at the surface. The oceans may themselves have warmed from a combination of natural and anthropogenic influences.