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NOAA's Ocean Climate Change Web Portal

James D. Scott
Senior Associate Scientist
Created: 6/22/2016 - Updated: 12/13/2018


 The NOAA/ESRL Physical Sciences Division (PSD) conducts weather and climate research to observe and understand Earth's physical environment, and to improve weather and climate predictions on global-to-local scales. This is an experimental web tool designed to explore changes projected in the oceans by coupled climate models' CMIP5 experiments (historical, RCP8.5 and RCP4.5).

Current variables available are divided in three categories : the physical atmospheric, the physical, and the biogeochemical oceanic variables. 
The physical atmospheric variables are near-surface air temperature, precipitation, surface net heat flux, surface upward latent heat flux, surface upward sensible heat flux, net surface downward shortwave radiation, and net surface downward longwave radiation. 
The physical oceanic variables are sea surface temperature, sea surface salinity, sea ice percentage, bottom temperature, bottom salinity, temperature at 30m depth, temperature at 50m depth, temperature at 100m depth, temperature at 200m depth, temperature at 500 depth, salinity at 30m depth, salinity at 30m depth, salinity at 100m depth, salinity at 200m depth, salinity at 500m depth, heat content between the surface and 300m depth, heat content between the surface and 700m depth, heat content between the surface and 2000m depth, static stability between the surface and 50m depth, static stability between the surface and 200m depth, eastward near-surface wind speed, near-surface wind speed, westward near-surface wind speed, surface domnward x-stress, surface downward y-stress, Ekman pumping, and magnitude of sea surface temperature gradient. 
The biogeochemical oceanic variables are sea surface pH, primary productivity, sea surface oxygen, sea surface chlorophyll, total alkalinity at surface, and dissolved inorganic carbon concentration. 

Users can select individual models or an average of all models. There are also choices to be made for season, 21st century time period, and region. Depending on what statistic is chosen, a 4-panel plot will be created. The upper left panel will show the climate from the historical experiment for the period 1956-2005. The upper right will show a measure (depending on statistic chosen) of the change in climate from the historical reference period to the 21st century time period (RCP8.5 or RCP4.5 experiment). The lower left panel will show some measure (depending on statistic chosen) of the variability in the historical reference period. Lastly, the lower right panel will show some measure of the change in variability of the 21st century period relative to the historical period. 


Natural resource managers, decision makers, and educators

NOAA is an agency that enriches life through science. Our reach goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor as we work to keep citizens informed of the changing environment around them. From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product.


Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Air temperature
Ocean acidification
Oxygen concentrations (hypoxia)
Sea level rise
Storms or extreme weather events
Water temperature
Type of Tool: 
Modeling and Analysis
Climate Models
Downscaled Climate Models
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Create/enhance resources and tools
Climate Type: 
Tool Cost: