Archive for the ‘Ocean dynamics’ Category


The full GWPF paper is here. Needless to say, it offers little comfort to ‘man-made warming’ climate dogmatists. The author concludes that what is happening to the oceans today is not unusual, in historical terms.

Executive summary

• The study of ocean heat content (OHC) is a subject struggling with inadequate data, but exposed in a public forum.

• Only since the introduction of data from the Argo array have there been convincing estimates of errors. The inhomogeneity of different data sets is a major problem.

• There is no real understanding of the difference between random and systematic errors in OHC data.

• Changes in OHC are at the limits of our ability to measure, and made with much uncertainty and many unknowns.

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‘Long-term’ here means really long-term. The 21k year precession period quoted looks like that of the perihelion.

In the past million years, the high-altitude winds of the southern westerly wind belt, which spans nearly half the globe, didn’t behave as uniformly over the Southern Pacific as previously assumed.

Instead, they varied cyclically over periods of ca. 21,000 years, reports ScienceDaily.

A new study has now confirmed close ties between the climate of the mid and high latitudes and that of the tropics in the South Pacific, which has consequences for the carbon budget of the Pacific Southern Ocean and the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

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Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica


Is there an element of circular reasoning here? Carbon dioxide levels have historically followed temperature changes, bringing any supposed causation into question.

Upside-down “rivers” of warm ocean water may be one of the causes of Antarctica’s ice shelves breaking up, leading to a rise in sea levels.

But a new study suggests an increase in sea ice may lead to a much more devastating change in the Earth’s climate — another ice age, reports Fox News.

Using computer simulations, the research suggests that an increase in sea ice could significantly alter the circulation of the ocean, ultimately leading to a reverse greenhouse effect as carbon dioxide levels in the ocean increase and levels in the air decrease.

“One key question in the field is still what caused the Earth to periodically cycle in and out of ice ages,” University of Chicago professor and the study’s co-author, Malte Jansen, said in a statement. “We are pretty confident that the carbon balance between the atmosphere and ocean must have changed, but we don’t quite know how or why.”

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Stating the obvious, but most of the heat is in the oceans if compared to the heat in the atmosphere. Wikipedia says ‘the top 2.5 m of the ocean holds as much heat as the entire atmosphere above it.’ If improved predictions are expected, evidence of that will be needed.

University of Maryland (UMD) scientists have carried out a novel statistical analysis to determine for the first time a global picture of how the ocean helps predict the low-level atmosphere and vice versa, reports Phys.org.

They observed ubiquitous influence of the ocean on the atmosphere in the extratropics, which has been difficult to demonstrate with dynamic models of atmospheric and oceanic circulation.

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Himalayan region


The report says: ‘Many scientists believe that ocean acidification from high carbon dioxide levels will reduce the calcium carbonate in algae, especially in the near future. The data, however, suggest the opposite occurred over the 15 million years before the current global warming spell.’ Evidence meets ‘greenhouse gas’ based climate theory, which struggles. Time for a re-think?

A key theory that attributes the climate evolution of the Earth to the breakdown of Himalayan rocks may not explain the cooling over the past 15 million years, according to a Rutgers-led study.

The study in the journal Nature Geoscience could shed more light on the causes of long-term climate change, says Phys.org.

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Arctic sea ice [image credit: cbc.ca]


This time researchers plan to get stuck on purpose, unlike several earlier notoriously over-ambitious climate-themed ship fiascos in the supposedly ‘vanishing’ polar sea ice in recent years, like this one. With such a massive budget this time, what could possibly go wrong? (That’s rhetorical of course.)

It’s being described as the biggest Arctic science expedition of all time, says BBC News.

The German Research Vessel Polarstern is about to head for the far north where it intends to drift in the sea-ice for an entire year.

Hundreds of scientists will visit the ship in that time to use it as a base from which to study the climate.

The MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) project is expected to cost about €130m (£120m/$150m).

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Antarctica


The lead oceanographer in this research says: “The deep oceans have been warming across much of the world for decades, so we were surprised to suddenly see this trend reversing and stabilizing in the Scotia Sea.”
Carbon dioxide up, warming down – surprising to some it seems.

The supply of dense Antarctic water from the bottom of the ocean to the Atlantic has declined in recent years, says Phys.org.

However, a new study explains for the first time how since 2014 this has stabilized and slightly recovered due to the variability in upstream dense waters, with implications for the global climate.

The study, led by British Antarctic Survey, is published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change.

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Coral reef [image credit: Toby Hudson / Wikipedia]


An example of how a volcano can help replenish coral reefs. Great Barrier Reef doomsters take note: ‘Associate Professor Bryan said this sort of event was occurring every five years.’

Drifting through the ocean, the sailors suddenly lost sight of water as The New Daily reports.

Surrounding their boat was a floating mass of pumice rocks — the result of an an underwater volcanic eruption near Tonga two weeks ago.

Queensland University of Technology geologist Associate Professor Scott Bryan said it “would have been a really eerie experience sailing into this sea of floating rock”.

“No longer seeing water and hearing the scratching of the pumice against the hull,” he said.

Known as a pumice raft, this so-called island of floating rock is gradually heading for Australian shores and is so expansive it can be tracked via satellite.
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But not as shockingly thick as those who claim the sea ice is all melting rapidly and assorted drastic measures must be taken, no expense spared.

polarbearscience

In late June, one of the most powerful icebreakers in the world encountered such extraordinarily thick ice on-route to the North Pole (with a polar bear specialist and deep-pocketed, Attenborough-class tourists onboard) that it took a day and a half longer than expected to get there. A few weeks later, in mid-July, a Norwegian icebreaker also bound for the North Pole (with scientific researchers on board) was forced to turn back north of Svalbard when it unexpectedly encountered impenetrable pack ice.

Franz Josef Land polar bear 2019 no date_Photo by Michael Hambrey_smA polar bear on hummocked sea ice in Franz Josef Land. Photo by Michael Hambrey, date not specified but estimated based on tour dates to be 22 or 23 June 2019.

Apparently, the ice charts the Norwegian captain consulted showed first year ice – ice that formed the previous fall, defined as less than 2 m thick (6.6 ft) – which is often much broken…

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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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