Received: 23 Sep 2013 – Discussion started: 03 Jan 2014
Abstract. This is the second of two papers on observational timeseries of top of ocean heat capture. The first reports hourly and daily meridional central tropical Pacific top 3 m timeseries showing high Southern Hemisphere evaporation (2.67 m yr−1) and Northern Hemisphere trapped heat (12 MJ m−2 day−1). We suggested that wind drift/geostrophic stratified gyre circulation transported warm water to the Arctic and led to three phases of Arctic basal ice melt and fluxes of brackish nutrient-rich waters to north Atlantic on centennial timescales.
Here we examine daily top metre 1904–2012 timeseries at Isle of Man west coast ~54° N for evidence of tropical and polar surface waters. We compare these to Central England (CET) daily land-air temperatures and to Arctic floating ice heat content and extent.
We find three phases of ocean surface heating consistent with basal icemelt buffering greenhouse gas warming until a regime shift post-1986 led to the modern surface temperature rise of ~1 °C in 20 yr. Three phases were: warming +0.018 °C yr−1 from 1904–1939, slight cooling −0.002 °C yr−11940–86 and strong warming +0.037 °C yr−1 1986–2012. For the same periods CET land-air showed: warming +0.015 °C yr−1, slight cooling −0.004 °C yr−1, about half SST warming at +0.018 °C yr−1. The mid-century cooling and a 1959/1963 hot/cold event is consistent with sunspot/solar radiation maximum 1923–2008 leading to record volumes of Arctic ice meltwater and runoff that peaked in 1962/3 British Isles extreme cold winter.
The warming Arctic resulted in wind regime and surface water regime shifts post 1986. This coincides with the onset of rapid Arctic annual ice melt. Continued heat imbalance is likely to lead to tidewater glacier basal icemelt and future sealevel rise after remaining relatively stable over 4000 yr. Our work needs confirmation by further fieldwork concentrating on the dynamics and thermodynamics of ocean top 3 m that controls the 93 % anthropogenic global warming in the oceans. This may be done most cost-effectively through focussed multidisciplinary scientific research adaptively managed and funded.
How to cite. Matthews, J. B. and Matthews, J. B. R.: Possible signals of poleward surface ocean heat transport, of Arctic basal ice melt, and of the twentieth century solar maximum in the 1904-2012 Isle of Man daily timeseries, Ocean Sci. Discuss., 11, 47–122, https://doi.org/10.5194/osd-11-47-2014, 2014.