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Ninety years of coastal monitoring reveals baseline and extreme ocean temperatures are increasing off the Finnish coast

Citation

Göbeler, Norman; Norkko, Alf; Norkko, Joanna (2022), Ninety years of coastal monitoring reveals baseline and extreme ocean temperatures are increasing off the Finnish coast, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8cz8w9gtf

Abstract

Global marine heatwave assessments often rely on satellite-derived sea surface temperature. However, these data have low accuracy in coastal areas, are unable to measure sub-surface temperatures and have only been available since the 1980s. Here, we analyse 90 years of in situ surface and bottom (30 m) water temperature data from a Finnish coastal monitoring site. Water temperatures were significantly higher between 1991–2020 than 1931–1960 and 1961–1990. We find strong differences between satellite-derived and in situ temperatures, with in situ temperatures being lower in autumn and winter and higher in spring. Measurements at the seafloor indicate marine heatwaves occurred during all seasons between 2016 and 2020, with intensities and durations exceeding previous records. Since the 1990s, we find an upward shift of the baseline temperature and increasingly frequent occurrences of temperatures previously considered as an extreme. Our findings highlight the importance of long-term in situ data and choice of climatological reference periods for assessing change.

Funding

Walter ja Andrée de Nottbeckin Säätiö