Ocean surface warming

The North Atlantic remains within the envelope of previous recorded conditions

Victoria J. Hobson*, Clive R. McMahon, Anthony Richardson, Graeme C. Hays

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


Anomalously warm air temperatures in various parts of the world have been widely noted in recent decades. In marine systems, biological indicators such as the range of plankton and fish have been used to indicate impacts of ocean warming, although for many regions recent ocean warming does not exceed short-term warming events over the last two centuries. Here we use International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS) sea-surface temperature data to update analysis in the North Atlantic to show that present warm conditions are currently no more persistent than those encountered in the last 150 years. We show that the position of various isotherms, which play a central role in influencing the distribution of marine taxa ranging from plankton to fish and turtles, are more regularly found further north in recent years than at any time since the 1850s.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-162
Number of pages8
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Climate change
  • Range extension
  • SST

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