‘First hint’ of a puzzling change in Southern Ocean revealed by CSIRO

Posted: February 19, 2018 by oldbrew in climate, Natural Variation, Ocean dynamics, research
Tags: ,

Image credit: theozonehole.com

‘The salinity puzzle’ – something new for climate theorists to ponder and debate. Here they still refer to ‘heat-trapping’ gases, having ignored or forgotten about convection.

Researchers aboard an Australian ship undertaking pioneering work in the Southern Ocean have found the “first hint” of a shift in a decades-long trend towards fresher, less dense water off Antarctica, reports The Age.

Teams of scientists on the RV Investigator have been profiling the salinity and temperature of water between Tasmania and Antarctica at 108 locations. They also released the first batch of deep Argot floats to measure conditions as deep as 4000 metres.

But it is the early analysis of data on salinity in the so-called bottom waters near the seabed that may stir international debate.

“Every time we’ve measured since the 1970s, [bottom water’s] been becoming lighter and fresher,” Steve Rintoul, the voyage chief scientist, told Fairfax Media on Monday as the ship took its final ocean profile.

“We’ve got the first hint now that maybe things are shifting back to becoming saltier and denser in the deepest part of the ocean,” said Dr Rintoul, who is a senior researcher at CSIRO and the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems (ACE) CRC.

Dr Rintoul said “this increase in salinity still brings levels to nowhere near where they were in the 1970s … nor even into the 1990s”. The trend of warming of those waters has not changed.

Still the salinity puzzle will be an important one to resolve, particularly if confirmed by the 11 deep floats that are starting to send back their once-a-month readings. These deep-water devices, being used for the first time in operational work, will transmit data for as long as seven years each time they surface.

Understanding the Southern Ocean is important not only to improving weather forecasts for Australia. The region surrounding Antarctica is also a “modulator of the global climate”, said Cai Wenju, director of CSIRO’s new Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research that is also a partner of the Investigator’s research.

While oceans globally take up about 93 per cent of the extra heat trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases, they also absorb about a third of the extra carbon-dioxide released by human activities, such as burning coal.

Of those totals, the Southern Ocean accounts for as much as 75 per cent of the ocean heat sink and 40 per cent of the CO2 dissolved in the seas, Dr Rintoul said.

“Changes in the [deep ocean] circulation would alter the efficiency that the Southern Ocean takes up heat and carbon, and have a big impact on climate,” he said.

Continued here.

  1. nickreality65 says:

    RGHE theory exists only to explain why the earth is 33 C warmer with an atmosphere than without. Not so. The average global temperature of 288 K is a massive WAG at the ”surface.” The w/o temperature of 255 K is a theoretical S-B ideal BB OLR calculation at the top of – the atmosphere. An obviously flawed RGHE faux-thermodynamic “theory” pretends to explain a mechanism behind this non-existent phenomenon, the difference between two made up atmospheric numbers.

    But with such great personal, professional and capital investment in this failed premise, like the man with only a hammer, assorted climate “experts” pontificate that every extreme, newsworthy weather or biospheric flora or fauna variation just must be due to “climate change.”

    The Earth’s albedo/atmosphere doesn’t keep the Earth warm, it keeps the Earth cool. As albedo increases, heating and temperature decrease. As albedo decreases, heating and temperature increase.

    Over 8,800 views of my five WriterBeat papers and zero rebuttals. There was one lecture on water vapor, but that kind of misses the CO2 point.

    Step right up, bring science, I did.

    Nick Schroeder, BSME, PE






  2. oldbrew says:

    ‘While oceans globally take up about 93 per cent of the extra heat trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases’

    Says who?
    – – –
    Trying to explain New Zealand’s ‘unusual’ growing glaciers
    February 19, 2018

    Contrary to all of the hype about melting glaciers, at least 58 New Zealand glaciers advanced between 1983 and 2008. Indeed, Franz Josef Glacier advanced nearly continuously during those years.


  3. LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks says:

    What’s so puzzling about it?

    Next up, climate ‘scientists’ will puzzle over (and attempt to hide) the measured decline in sea level.

  4. Paul Vaughan says:

    “Still the salinity puzzle will be an important one to resolve […]”


    “The reflex is a door to finding
    treasure in the dark.

    Every little thing the reflex does
    leaves you answered with a question mark.”
    — Duran Duran “The Reflex”

    These are high priorities.
    No one will unleash the kind of logic it would take to “resolve” such issues.

    “The reflex: what a game […] hiding all the cards, the reflex is in charge […]”

    Looking forward to next week, next month, and next year…

  5. stpaulchuck says:

    once again, what they DON’T know would fill volumes. BTW… what about the “It’s gonna kill us all!” ozone hole?? haven’t heard squat about it in years now.
    “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts” – Richard Feynman

  6. oldbrew says:

    Research article 06 Feb 2018
    Evidence for a continuous decline in lower stratospheric ozone offsetting ozone layer recovery

    …since 1998 ozone in the upper stratosphere is rising again…The reasons for the continued reduction of lower stratospheric ozone are not clear; models do not reproduce these trends, and thus the causes now urgently need to be established.


    Natural variation possibly :/

  7. Maybe those waters become less saline during a solar induced warming period and more saline during a solar induced cooling period.
    But that would be too easy to support more funding.

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    When the sun went quiet, and UV dropped, and the atmospheric height shortened, I noticed a return of the more breezy blustery “puffy” air movement from back in the 50s and 60s (and early 70s).

    IMHO, what has happened is that the shorter air column (for any pressure altitude) has made a more “loopy” merdional jet stream and greater force to convection and lateral winds.

    More wind means more surface evaporation from the oceans, and saltier descending surface waters.

    We’ve also see a return of much wetter storms (Remember when “Global Warming” was going to mean Global Drought? Now it’s being sold as Global Floods. That water came from the oceans as evaporation.)

    So yeah, as Stephen Wilde said, it’s just what happens as the cooling / warming / cooling 60 year (and 1500 year) cycles turn.

  9. cognog2 says:

    “While the oceans globally take up about 93% of the extra heat trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases, ——“. !!!?

    What an extraordinary statement and total nonsense. Have they really forgotten basic science? Have forgotten what the Latent Heat of water is and does? Have they forgotten that standard experiment at school when we all had boil the top of the test tube with ice in the bottom?
    Have they forgotten what the Rankine Cycle does in the atmosphere, pumping some 680Watthrs of energy into the atmosphere for every Kilogram of water evaporated? And how it accelerates if any extra heat is applied. Have they forgotten that they are talking about a dubious and mere 1.67 Watts/sq.m on only 70% of the earth’s surface?

    Dear dear me no wonder they are puzzled about a bit of salinity.

    Seems they have caught the SatanicCO2 virus and got their brains stuck in their hard disks.

    Otherwise an interesting report.

  10. oldbrew says:

    cognog – yes, hard to see where they got those ideas from.

    ‘Heat trapping’ radiative gas is an absurdity anyway, especially at 0.04% of the atmosphere – as per the post intro.

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