Atlantic Slows Warming, Temperature Rises Seen Resuming from 2030

Posted by Eric Haun
Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Atlantic Ocean has masked global warming this century by soaking up vast amounts of heat from the atmosphere in a shift likely to reverse from around 2030 and spur fast temperature rises, scientists said.

The theory is the latest explanation for a slowdown in the pace of warming at the Earth's surface since about 1998 that has puzzled experts because it conflicts with rising greenhouse gas emissions, especially from emerging economies led by China.

"We're pointing to the Atlantic as the driver of the hiatus," Ka-Kit Tung, of the University of Washington in Seattle and a co-author of Thursday's study in the journal Science, told Reuters.

The study said an Atlantic current carrying water north from the tropics sped up this century and sucked more warm surface waters down to 1,500 metres (5,000 feet), part of a natural shift for the ocean that typically lasts about three decades.

It said a return to a warmer period, releasing more heat stored in the ocean, was likely to start around 2030. When it does, "another episode of accelerated global warming should ensue", the authors wrote.

Almost 200 governments aim to agree a deal to combat climate change at a summit in Paris in late 2015 and the hiatus has heartened sceptics who doubt there is an urgent need for a trillion-dollar shift from fossil fuels to renewable energies.

Several previous studies have suggested that the larger Pacific Ocean is the likely site of the "missing heat" from man-made greenhouse gases, perhaps linked to a series of La Nina cooling events in the Pacific in recent years.

Other suggestions for the slowdown in warming have included a rise in industrial pollution that is blocking sunlight.

SHIFT IN SALINITY?

A separate team of scientists writing in the journal Nature Geoscience on Sunday said that factors including swings in the sun's output and sun-blocking dust from volcanic eruptions may account for gaps in understanding the warming trends.

In addition, La Nina cooling events in the Pacific Ocean had played a role, according to the report that examined why computer models of the climate had over-estimated temperature rises in the past decade.

But no one knows for sure.

"It will be interesting to see how and if these ideas are connected" with the theory of the Atlantic, lead author Markus Huber said of the study by the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science at ETH Zurich.

Thursday's study said a shift in salinity may have caused more heat to be transferred to the depths of the Atlantic.

Warm, salty water from the tropics flows north on the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic and sinks when it meets cooler water. The "great ocean conveyor belt" then makes cold water flow in the depths to the Southern Ocean.

Even though global warming has slowed, 13 of the 14 warmest years on record have been this century, according to U.N. estimates.

A U.N. panel says it is at least 95 percent certain that human emissions, rather than natural variations in the climate, are the main cause of rising temperatures since 1960 that have caused more heatwaves, downpours and rising sea levels.

(By Alister Doyle; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

News

USCG Cutter Diligence Returns

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Diligence returned to Wilmington following a 45-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea. While on patrol, Diligence served as the

Southern California Port Congestion

Hapag-Lloyd informs about the congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach that has reached a critical point. I. Several container ships are anchoring

GAC Starts Green Hull Cleaning Operations in Oman

Oman’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs has granted GAC EnvironHull permission to conduct underwater hull cleaning operations using the brush-and-diver-free

Marine Science

Study Shows Oceans Arrived Early to Earth

Earth is known as the Blue Planet because of its oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the planet's surface and are home to the world's greatest diversity of life.

Chevron - First Gas from Bangladesh Bibiyana Project

Chevron Corporation today announced that its Bangladesh subsidiary has commenced natural gas production from the Bibiyana Expansion Project in the northeastern part of the country.

Chevron Sanctions Stampede Project

Chevron Corporation announced today that its subsidiary, Union Oil Company of California (Union), has reached a final investment decision to proceed with the

Ocean Observation

Marine Renewable Energy Testing Facility in Singapore Mooted

ClassNK has launched of a feasibility study for a new marine renewable energy testing facility to be built in Singapore. The announcement was made at the 2014

Study Shows Oceans Arrived Early to Earth

Earth is known as the Blue Planet because of its oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the planet's surface and are home to the world's greatest diversity of life.

Transneft Cites Weather, Suspends Some Liftings

Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft has suspended oil loadings through all Russian ports except for Makhachkala due to bad weather conditions, RIA news agency said on Monday.

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0984 sec (10 req/sec)