Ocean Chlorofluorocarbon and Heat Uptake during the Twentieth Century in the CCSM3 Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract An ensemble of nine simulations for the climate of the twentieth century has been run using the Community Climate System Model version 3 (CCSM3). Three of these runs also simulate the uptake of chlorofluorocarbon-11 (CFC-11) into the ocean using the protocol from the Ocean Carbon Model Intercomparison Project (OCMIP). Comparison with ocean observations taken between 1980 and 2000 shows that the global CFC-11 uptake is simulated very well. However, there are regional biases, and these are used to identify where too much deep-water formation is occurring in the CCSM3. The differences between the three runs simulating CFC-11 uptake are also briefly documented. The variability in ocean heat content in the 1870 control runs is shown to be only a little smaller than estimates using ocean observations. The ocean heat uptake between 1957 and 1996 in the ensemble is compared to the recent observational estimates of the secular trend. The trend in ocean heat uptake is considerably larger than the natural variability in the 1870 control runs. The heat uptake down to 300 m between 1957 and 1996 varies by a factor of 2 across the ensemble. Some possible reasons for this large spread are discussed. There is much less spread in the heat uptake down to 3 km. On average, the CCSM3 twentieth-century ensemble runs take up 25% more heat than the recent estimate from ocean observations. Possible explanations for this are that the model heat uptake is calculated over the whole ocean, and not just in the regions where there are many observations and that there is no parameterization of the indirect effects of aerosols in CCSM3.

publication date

  • June 1, 2006