Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-1336
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-1336
13 Dec 2022
 | 13 Dec 2022

Observed multi-decadal trends in subsurface temperature adjacent to the East Australian Current

Michael P. Hemming, Moninya Roughan, Neil Malan, and Amandine Schaeffer

Abstract. Sea surface temperature observations have shown that western boundary currents, such as the East Australian Current (EAC), are warming faster than the global average. However, we know little about coastal temperature trends inshore of these rapidly warming regions, particularly below the surface. In addition to this, warming rates are typically estimated linearly, making it difficult to know how these rates have changed over time. Here we use long-term in situ temperature observations through the water column at five coastal sites between approximately 27.3–42.6° S to estimate warming trends between the ocean surface and the bottom. Using an advanced trend detection method, we find accelerating warming trends at multiple depths in the EAC extension region at 34.1 and 42.6° S. We see accelerating trends at the surface and bottom at 34.1° S, but similar trends at 3 depths in the top 50 m at 42.6° S. We compare several methods, estimate uncertainty, and place our results in the context of previously reported trends, highlighting that magnitudes are depth-dependent, vary across latitude, and are sensitive to the data time period chosen. The spatial and temporal variability in the long-term temperature trends highlight the important role of regional dynamics against a background of broad-scale ocean warming. Moreover, considering that recent studies of ocean warming typically focus on surface data only, our results show the necessity of subsurface data for the improved understanding of regional climate change impacts.

Michael P. Hemming et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1336', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 Dec 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Michael Hemming, 17 Feb 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1336', Anonymous Referee #2, 25 Mar 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Michael Hemming, 29 Apr 2023
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1336', Anonymous Referee #3, 28 Mar 2023
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Michael Hemming, 29 Apr 2023

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1336', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 Dec 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Michael Hemming, 17 Feb 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1336', Anonymous Referee #2, 25 Mar 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Michael Hemming, 29 Apr 2023
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1336', Anonymous Referee #3, 28 Mar 2023
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Michael Hemming, 29 Apr 2023

Michael P. Hemming et al.

Michael P. Hemming et al.

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Short summary
We estimate subsurface linear and non-linear temperature trends at 5 coastal sites adjacent to the East Australian Current (EAC). We see accelerating trends at both 34.1° S and 42.6° S, and place our results in the context of previously reported trends, highlighting that magnitudes are depth-dependent and vary across latitude. Our results indicate the important role of regional dynamics, and show the necessity of subsurface data for the improved understanding of regional climate change impacts.