Archive for the ‘Ocean dynamics’ Category

The Great Ocean Conveyor Belt – blue = deep cold and saltier water current, red = shallower and warmer current
[credit: NWS / NOAA]


Researchers put forward the idea that the role of the global ocean conveyor belt may be overrated in the grand scheme of ocean dynamics, and offer alternative ideas.

Far from the vast, fixed bodies of water oceanographers thought they were a century ago, oceans today are known to be interconnected, highly influential agents in Earth’s climate system, says Phys.org.

A major turning point in our understanding of ocean circulation came in the early 1980s, when research began to indicate that water flowed between remote regions, a concept later termed the “great ocean conveyor belt.”

The theory holds that warm, shallow water from the South Pacific flows to the Indian and Atlantic oceans, where, upon encountering frigid Arctic water, it cools and sinks to great depth.

This cold water then cycles back to the Pacific, where it reheats and rises to the surface, beginning the cycle again.

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Credit: Seung Joon Yang @ Wikipedia


This natural phenomenon is over 100,000 square miles in area, typically persists for about 200 days per year and is strongly linked to monsoons, but is not well understood.

Researchers have found a new way to use satellites to monitor the Great Whirl, a massive whirlpool the size of Colorado that forms each year off the coast of East Africa, they report in a new study.

Using 23 years of satellite data, the new findings show the Great Whirl is larger and longer-lived than scientists previously thought, reports Phys.org.

At its peak, the giant whirlpool is, on average, 275,000 square kilometers (106,000 square miles) in area and persists for about 200 days out of the year. Watch an animation of the Great Whirl’s evolution here.

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Credit: PAR @ Wikipedia


This looks significant, pointing directly at solar influences on climate patterns. The researchers found evidence that atmosphere-ocean coupling can amplify the solar signal, having detected that wind anomalies could not be explained by radiative considerations alone.

An international team of researchers from United Kingdom, Denmark, and Germany has found robust evidence for signatures of the 11-year sunspot cycle in the tropical Pacific, reports Phys.org.

They analyzed historical time series of pressure, surface winds and precipitation with specific focus on the Walker Circulation—a vast system of atmospheric flow in the tropical Pacific region that affects patterns of tropical rainfall.

They have revealed that during periods of increased solar irradiance, the trade winds weaken and the Walker circulation shifts eastward.

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Credit: NASA – GISS


Showing once again that significant warming and cooling are normal features of the global climate over thousands of years and longer. We could speculate whether this particular research might be linked to the de Vries cycle.

The warm waters of the Gulf Stream flow up along the east coast of North America, moderating the climate of vast areas of northern and western Europe, says Phys.org.

Once the Gulf Stream gets far enough north, the warm waters cool.

As they cool, they sink and start flowing south, forming what scientists call the North Atlantic Deep Water.

Nick Balascio explained that the Gulf Stream/Deep Water system is known as the AMOC, or Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.

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Jakobshavn glacier, West Greenland [image credit: Wikipedia]


Without jumping to hasty conclusions, this is an interesting development not predicted by the IPCC’s supposed experts. Natural ocean/climate oscillations are implicated. Against assumptions, rising carbon dioxide levels cannot explain these latest observations.

A new NASA study finds a major Greenland glacier that was one of the fastest shrinking ice and snow masses on Earth is growing again, reports The GWPF.

The scientists were so shocked to find the change, Khazendar said: “At first we didn’t believe it.

“We had pretty much assumed that Jakobshavn would just keep going on as it had over the last 20 years.”

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Image credit: sanibelrealestateguide.com


H/T The Atlantic.
Researchers found that all 11 hurricanes they investigated that went through the mid-Atlantic in summer experienced ahead-of-eye cooling. This indicator was not previously known.

The key to predicting storm intensity may lie below the surface, says Undark magazine.

In August 2011, with Hurricane Irene bearing down on the mid-Atlantic coast, Scott Glenn, an ocean engineering researcher at Rutgers University, made a bold decision.

While most other research teams moved their ships, personnel, and expensive hardware to safety ahead of the hurricane, Glenn left his data-collecting drone—a torpedo-shaped underwater “glider” about 6 feet long and worth about $150,000—directly in its path.

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Image credit: NASA


Researchers have an ambition to use ‘new mathematics’ to try and predict where and when these extreme events will occur.

Florida State University researchers have found that abrupt variations in the seafloor can cause dangerous ocean waves known as rogue or freak waves—waves so catastrophic that they were once thought to be the figments of seafarers’ imaginations, Phys.org reports.

“These are huge waves that can cause massive destruction to ships or infrastructure, but they are not precisely understood,” said Nick Moore, assistant professor of mathematics at Florida State and author of a new study on rogue waves.

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Credit: NASA climatekids


The necessary ocean-atmosphere coupling needed for El Niño to develop has not been observed so far, despite earlier favourable predictions.

ENSO-neutral conditions are present, says NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center [pdf].

Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are above average across most of
the Pacific Ocean.

The patterns of convection and winds are mostly near average over the tropical Pacific.

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The Great Ocean Conveyor Belt – blue = deep cold and saltier water current, red = shallower and warmer current
[credit: NWS / NOAA]


It’s known, or at least believed, that transit times of some ocean waters can be as long as 1,000 years. The researchers are well aware that this exceeds the time since some well-known warming and cooling periods in the Earth’s past, such as the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age.

Whereas most of the ocean is responding to modern warming, the deep Pacific may be cooling, say researchers.

The ocean has a long memory. When the water in today’s deep Pacific Ocean last saw sunlight, Charlemagne was the Holy Roman Emperor, the Song Dynasty ruled China and Oxford University had just held its very first class.

During that time, between the 9th and 12th centuries, the earth’s climate was generally warmer before the cold of the Little Ice Age settled in around the 16th century.

Now ocean surface temperatures are back on the rise but the question is, do the deepest parts of the ocean know that?

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The last one finished in mid-2016 and was one of the strongest on record.

The World Meteorological Organization says there’s a 75-80% chance of the weather phenomenon forming by next February, BBC News reports.

The naturally occurring event causes changes in the temperature of the Pacific Ocean and has a major influence on weather patterns around the world.

It is linked to floods in South America and droughts in Africa and Asia.

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Earth and climate – an ongoing controversy


Researchers believe the so-called global warming hiatus ended in 2014 ‘as a new El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event was developing’. Whether there’s a struggle between natural cooling and non-natural warming is an open question. So-called internal variability can surely vary either up or down, i.e. warmer or cooler, in any time frame.

Global warming has been attributed to persistent increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs), especially in CO2, since 1870, the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, say the researchers.

Nevertheless, the upward trend in global mean surface temperature (GMST) slowed or even paused during the first decade of the twenty-first century, even though CO2 levels continued to rise and reached nearly 400 ppm in 2013.

This episode has typically been termed the global warming hiatus or slowdown in warming. The hiatus is characterized as a near-zero trend over a period.

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The media’s climate change coverage is even worse than we thought. If told aliens were running round the Arctic zapping icebergs with lasers, many of them would be keen to believe it – or at least that’s the impression often given.

A week ago, we were told that climate change was worse than we thought. But the underlying science contains a major error, reports The GWPF.

Independent climate scientist Nicholas Lewis has uncovered a major error in a recent scientific paper that was given blanket coverage in the English-speaking media.

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[For details on the graph see below]

Update 12/11/2018: Ian Wilson’s 2019 El Nino forecast can be found here.

Cognitive Dissonance: When a person or a group of people have attitudes, beliefs or behaviors that are in conflict with each other. Generally, this produces a feeling of mental discomfort that leads to an alteration in their attitudes, beliefs or behaviors that moderates their mental discomfort and restores balance.

I believe that the level of cognitive dissonance that we have about the influence of lunar tides upon El Nino events has become so large that something has to give.

In a series of blog posts in November 2014:

http://astroclimateconnection.blogspot.com/2014/11/evidence-that-strong-el-nino-events-are_13.html

I showed that between 1870 and 2025, the precise alignments between the lunar synodic [phase] cycle and the 31/62 year Perigean New/Full moon cycle, naturally breaks up into six 31-year epochs each of which has a distinctly different tidal property. Note that the second of these 31-year intervals starts with the precise alignment on the 15th of April 1870, with the subsequent epoch boundaries occurring every 31 years after that:

Epoch 1 – Prior to 15th April  1870
Epoch 2 – 15th April 1870 to 18th April 1901
Epoch 3 – 8th April 1901 to 20th April 1932
Epoch 4 – 20th April 1932 to 23rd April 1963
Epoch 5 – 23rd April 1963 to 25th April 1994
Epoch 6 – 25th April 1994 to 27th April 2025

I claimed that if the 31/62-year seasonal tidal cycle plays a role in sequencing the triggering of El Niño events, it would be reasonable to expect that its effects for the following three epochs:

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Yet another climate superstition gets blown out of the water.

PA Pundits - International

By Andrew Bolt ~

The Pacific nation of Kiribati… is disappearing underwater. Tarawa, the atoll where nearly half the country’s population lives, could soon disappear.

There is no evidence at all for that ABC claim.

Even former Kiribati President Anote Tong, flogging the warming scare on the ABC, could not pretend the ABC claim was true the last time it was trotted out:

Fran Kelly: What is the situation now, how perilous is it?

Tong: …I’ve always been very frank and honest to say I don’t see the sea level rising…

Kelly: Your successor … has been quoted saying climate change is indeed a serious problem, but we don’t believe that Kiribati will sink like the Titanic ship. Our beautiful lands are created by the hands of God. Does it make it difficult for you to criticise governments abroad and campaign on this when you’re own government appears…

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Northwest Passage routes [image credit: NASA @ Wikipedia]


Probably not, but this report loses some credibility and misleads readers when it claims: ‘But in 2014 the Nunavik became the first cargo ship to traverse the [Northwest] passage unescorted when it delivered nickel from the Canadian province of Quebec to China.’ It fails to mention the obviously important fact that Nunavik is an icebreaking bulk carrier.

Wikipedia says: ‘She is strengthened for navigation in ice according to the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) Polar Class 4, which allows year-round operation in thick first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions. Furthermore, she fulfills the requirements for ice class ICE-15 by Det Norske Veritas.’ So hardly the run-of-the-mill cargo ship that the BBC pretends it is.

Having tried to talk up the prospects of opening up this sea route, a note of caution is sounded: ‘However, some Arctic experts are not convinced that the Northwest Passage will ever be a busy commercial trade route.’ As well as unpredictable sea ice, unfavourable geography and disputed territorial claims are among the issues.

Climate change is increasingly opening up the Northwest Passage, an Arctic sea route north of the Canadian mainland, says the BBC.

Could it herald an era of more cargo shipping around the top of the world?

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Ocean currents
[image credit: SPL/BBC]


The latest NOAA synopsis says: ‘Overall, the oceanic and atmospheric conditions reflected ENSO-neutral, but with recent trends indicative of a developing El Niño.’ Sounds like a ‘definite maybe’ there, with models now forecasting a relatively weak El Niño.

Warming waters in the equatorial Pacific give increasing confidence that El Niño will be here soon, says Discover magazine.

It’s still not here yet, but El Niño sure looks like it’s coming.

In its latest forecast, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says there is a 70 to 75 percent chance that El Niño will form “in the next couple of months and continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2018-19.”

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Coriolis Effect [credit: keywordhungry.com]


There are numerous attempts to explain the Coriolis effect on the internet, with varying success in terms of how confused the reader may be afterwards. This report may or may not clear things up, but best expect the latter.

The earth’s rotation causes the Coriolis effect, which deflects massive air and water flows toward the right in the Northern Hemisphere and toward the left in the Southern Hemisphere.

This phenomenon greatly impacts global wind patterns and ocean currents, and is only significant for large-scale and long-duration geophysical phenomena such as hurricanes.

The magnitude of the Coriolis effect, relative to the magnitude of inertial forces, is expressed by the Rossby number. For over 100 years, scientists have believed that the higher this number, the less likely Coriolis effect influences oceanic or atmospheric events, says Phys.org.

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The blog post title speaks for itself. Alarmists can’t accept natural variation, so use false logic to try and claim that any weather characteristic which wasn’t exactly like the last few hurricanes must be somehow man-made.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

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US ‘monster’ hurricane set to strengthen

Posted: September 11, 2018 by oldbrew in News, Ocean dynamics, weather
Tags:

Image credit: sanibelrealestateguide.com

Right on cue at the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, three major storms are barrelling westwards. So far, the first one looks like being the most powerful. Mandatory evacuations for more than a million people near the US east coast have been declared.

North Carolina’s governor warns the state Florence will be a “life-threatening, historic hurricane”, reports BBC News.

Hurricane Florence – the most powerful storm to threaten the Carolinas in nearly three decades – is expected to strengthen, say forecasters.

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A new tweak to tidal theory is proposed. The research team hopes that ‘understanding continental configurations and tidal strengths will impact the development of climate models’.

Daily tides are driven primarily by Earth’s rotation and the gravitational force of the moon on oceans, says Earth magazine.

However, in a new study in Geophysical Research Letters, researchers suggest that tidal magnitudes are also influenced, on longer timescales, by the size and shape of the ocean basins, and are therefore driven by plate tectonics.

Plate tectonics gives rise to the formation of supercontinents — massive aggregations of continental lithosphere — which form and break apart in cycles that last about 400 million to 500 million years. With the breakup of the last supercontinent, Pangea, about 180 million years ago, and the projected formation of a new supercontinent, known as Aurica, in about 200 million years, Earth is currently in the middle of a supercontinent cycle.

Because the size and shape of ocean basins impact ocean circulation and tides, researchers led by Mattias Green, a physical oceanographer at Bangor University in England, hypothesized that tides may be linked to the supercontinent cycle in a so-called supertidal cycle.

Current tides, particularly those in the North Atlantic, are very large, Green’s team noted because of tidal resonance, which occurs when ocean basins and continental shelves reinforce and amplify the natural oscillation of tides as they sweep back and forth across oceans. “So the tides are larger at present because the continents are configured the way they are.”

To model Earth’s future oceanic tides, the researchers used predictions of continental configurations for the next 250 million years, through when Aurica is predicted to form. Ocean basin size was the main factor considered in the modeling, but the team also accounted for the moon’s gravitational pull on the oceans, Earth’s axial tilt, and simplified ocean bathymetries for future plate tectonic reconstructions.

Simplification of these fine details does affect the team’s modeling, notes David Waltham, a mathematical geologist at the Royal Holloway University of London, who was not involved in the study. But the simplifications used likely do not change the overall results, he adds.

Green and his colleagues reported that global tides are likely to increase over the next 50 million years “due to an enhanced tide in the North Atlantic and Pacific at 25 million years, followed by a very large Pacific tide at 50 million years.”

Continued here.