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Longer and more frequent marine heatwaves over the past century

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Oliver, ECJ ORCID: 0000-0002-4006-2826, Donat, MG, Burrows, MT, Moore, PJ, Smale, DA, Alexander, LV, Benthuysen, JA, Feng, M, Sen Gupta, A, Hobday, AJ, Holbrook, NJ ORCID: 0000-0002-3523-6254, Perkins-Kirkpatrick, SE, Scannell, HA, Straub, SC and Wernberg, T 2018 , 'Longer and more frequent marine heatwaves over the past century' , Nature Communications, vol. 9, no. 1 , pp. 1-12 , doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03732-9.

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Abstract

Heatwaves are important climatic extremes in atmospheric and oceanic systems that canhave devastating and long-term impacts on ecosystems, with subsequent socioeconomicconsequences. Recent prominent marine heatwaves have attracted considerable scientificand public interest. Despite this, a comprehensive assessment of how these ocean temperatureextremes have been changing globally is missing. Using a range of ocean temperaturedata including global records of daily satellite observations, daily in situmeasurements and gridded monthly in situ-based data sets, we identify significant increasesin marine heatwaves over the past century. We find that from 1925 to 2016, global averagemarine heatwave frequency and duration increased by 34% and 17%, respectively, resultingin a 54% increase in annual marine heatwave days globally. Importantly, these trends canlargely be explained by increases in mean ocean temperatures, suggesting that we can expectfurther increases in marine heatwave days under continued global warming.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Oliver, ECJ and Donat, MG and Burrows, MT and Moore, PJ and Smale, DA and Alexander, LV and Benthuysen, JA and Feng, M and Sen Gupta, A and Hobday, AJ and Holbrook, NJ and Perkins-Kirkpatrick, SE and Scannell, HA and Straub, SC and Wernberg, T
Keywords: data set, environmental assessment, extreme event, global change, global warming, heat wave, in situ measurement, long-term change, marine environment, trend analysis, water temperature
Journal or Publication Title: Nature Communications
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2041-1723
DOI / ID Number: 10.1038/s41467-018-03732-9
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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