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Fall 2007 Update: Comparison of Potential SST Change to Historical SST

Chart of Historical SST

To put the potential change in SST through the 21st century into perspective, we compared the CCCma model output for a selected location to the historical time series of SST using the ERSST dataset. The observed SST and model output overlap, so this period was used to develop a calibration between the two datasets. The model output was corrected to scale properly to the observed historical SST. Global scale circulation models often have trouble with SST estimates in the Northeast Shelf area owing to its proximity to the Gulf Stream. The location we selected is representative of the Gulf of Maine and also represents an area where the climate model predicts the greatest impact on SST. With the exception of the committed scenario, all other scenarios suggest SST will increase well above the levels we have experienced in this region of the ocean over the past 150 years.

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