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

Environmental

What’s All the Noise at IMO?

Shipping may think they hear the sound of new regulations as they are slammed onto their desks.  What is all the noise concerning noise at IMO?  This may very well be the question from ship owners,

Will Congress Pass Any Maritime Legislation in 2014?

Following its usual summer break over August 2014, Congress came back from its five-week summer recess and spent a whopping eight days or so back in session before recessing once again,

ICS Addresses OECD Shipbuilding Working Party

The OECD should be cautious about becoming involved in the question of what constitutes an ‘eco-ship’, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) said to governments

News

US House to Hold Hearing on Oil Export Ban

A House of Representatives panel will hold a hearing on Dec. 11 to explore whether a decades-old law that prohibits the export of crude oil makes sense in an era of domestic energy abundance.

Bollinger Delivers 11th FRC to the US Coast Guard

Bollinger Shipyards, Inc. has delivered the William Trump, the 11th Fast Response Cutter (FRC) to the United States Coast Guard.   The announcement was made by Bollinger Chief Operating Officer,

Australian Defence Minister Says Would Not Trust Submarine Firm to Build Canoe

Australia's defence minister has said he would not trust state-owned Australian Submarine Corp (ASC) "to build a canoe", fuelling expectations that most work in

Marine Science

Overwhelming Support for ‘Hit the HMT Target!’

Today, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) applauded a “Dear Colleague” letter to the leadership of the Senate Committee on Appropriations that was signed by 22 senators,

Thickness of Antarctic Sea Ice Surpass Expectations

Antarctica's ice paradox has yet another puzzling layer. Not only is the amount of sea ice increasing each year, but an underwater robot now shows the ice is

ST Engineering Rejigs Top Deck

Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering) today announced the appointment of senior management personnel to new key management positions in the

Ocean Observation

Thickness of Antarctic Sea Ice Surpass Expectations

Antarctica's ice paradox has yet another puzzling layer. Not only is the amount of sea ice increasing each year, but an underwater robot now shows the ice is

Everett College to Launch New Research Boat

Everett Community College’s Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA) will launch its new research vesel on November 22 with a celebration at 11 a.m. at the Port of Everett.

IMO Steps Up Safety in Polar Waters

United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted global, binding regulations to enhance safety of navigation in polar waters. After several years’ intense negotiations,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
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: 0.1636 sec (6 req/sec)