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Heat content of the North Sea


Monthly heat content

The sea stores large amounts of energy during summer due to its high specific heat capacity. In winter, this energy is released and influences weather conditions on the adjacent mainland. The heat content depends primarily on Atlantic inflow temperatures and on local meteorological conditions in the North Sea region. Therefore, the heat content of the sea, like the sea surface temperature, constitutes an important indicator in descriptions of the climate behaviour of the North Sea. The BSH's long-term measurements of North Sea heat content allow conclusions as to possible climate change and climate-relevant processes.

As in-situ measurements never achieve full spatial coverage and are not always available in 3D quality, numerical models have to be used for a status analysis. The results of the operational BSH model system are used to compute the derived variable "heat content" as a monthly mean value. The models are validated using in-situ measurements.

You can see time series of monthly mean values from 2000 on.

Monatsmittel der Wassersäule 
(Mittlerer Wärmeinhalt pro Einheitsvolumen [J/m³])

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If you have any additional questions or data requests concerning water temperatures and heat contents, please e-mail Alexander Frohse or phone +40 3190 3212;
concerning the North Sea atlas, please e-mail Achim Schulz or phone +40 40 3190 - 3213,


More information on the subject:
Remote sensing
Prediction models
Sea surface temperatures

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 © 2016 Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie Last Update: 23-Sep-2015 08:23:40  
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