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 May 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

Hyde Marine to Present on BWTS at Nor-Shipping

Company to Share Seamless Integration of Ballast Water Treatment System (BWTS); Experience in Retrofits for Small Footprint Installations at Nor-Shipping Maritime

6,000 Gallons of Diesel Spilt in Alaskan Gulf

Unified Command responding to cleanup aboard vessel in Seldovia, Alaska   A Unified Command consisting of representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of the Interior,

US Orders Owner to Clean Up Ruptured Pipeline

Federal order ensures continued action on Santa Barbara County oil spill   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard issued a joint federal

News

Lifting of US Crude Oil Export Ban Possible within Year

The U.S. Congress could lift the 40-year old ban on domestic crude oil exports within a year as a drop in gasoline prices and the potential return of Iranian

Duke Energy to Help Develop Jeffersonville Port Site

Duke Energy Indiana has selected a 140-acre parcel of land inside the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville in Clark County for the utility's 2015 Site Readiness Program.

UNOLS Seeks Nominations for Council Positions

The University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) is an organization of academic oceanographic institutions working in cooperation with agencies of the U.

Marine Science

VIKING’s Top Safety Offerings at Nor-Shipping

Marine safety equipment leader VIKING Life-Saving Equipment will appear in force at Nor-Shipping 2015, displaying both innovative products and services that

US Forecaster Predicts Below-average Atlantic Hurricane Season

The Atlantic Ocean will see a below-average number of hurricanes this season due to cooler seas and a strong El Niño effect, the U.S. government weather forecaster announced on Wednesday.

UNOLS Seeks Fleet Improvement Committee Chair

The University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) informs it is seeking nominations to fill a Fleet Improvement Committee (FIC) Chair position.   The position,

Ocean Observation

US Forecaster Predicts Below-average Atlantic Hurricane Season

The Atlantic Ocean will see a below-average number of hurricanes this season due to cooler seas and a strong El Niño effect, the U.S. government weather forecaster announced on Wednesday.

China Builds-up Naval Power

China has outlined a first ever "white paper" on military strategy that outlined a more robust posture for its blue-water navy, and warned of threats to its security

UNOLS Seeks Fleet Improvement Committee Chair

The University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) informs it is seeking nominations to fill a Fleet Improvement Committee (FIC) Chair position.   The position,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.1180 sec (8 req/sec)