Deep ocean warming rates are accelerating in the South Pacific

PCC board member Gregory Johnson (NOAA/PMEL) and former student Sarah Purkey (now at Scripps Institute of Oceanography) have recently published papers in GRL measuring warming rates in the South Pacific with Deep Argo (Johnson) and the impact of these warming rates on local sea level and heat budget (Purkey). Previous measurements of deep ocean temperatures were made on 10-year intervals, and indicate warming since the 1990s, but new data from the Deep Argo floats over the last 4.4 years show that these rates have accelerated. These new measurements are critical in studying the changes occurring in the deep ocean and their implications on sea level rise due to thermal expansion.