Oceans Cool Off Previous 3 Years



The best context for understanding these three years comes from the world's sea surface temperatures (SST), for several reasons:

  • The ocean covers 71% of the globe and drives average temperatures;

  • SSTs have a constant water content, (unlike air temperatures), so give a better reading of heat content variations;
  • A major El Nino was the dominant climate feature these years.

HadSST is generally regarded as the best of the global SST data sets, and so the temperature story here comes from that source, the latest version being HadSST3.

The chart below shows SST monthly anomalies as reported in HadSST3 starting in 2015 through December 2017.

After a bump in October the downward temperature trend has strengthened. As will be shown in the analysis below, 0.4C has been the average global anomaly since 1995 and December has now gone lower to 0.325C. NH dropped sharply along with the Tropics. SH held steady erasing the Oct. bump. All parts of the ocean are clearly lower than at any time in the past 3 years.

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