Sunday, February 09, 2014

A Cool Pacific Breeze Masks Global Warming

Consider it, at best, a reprieve.  "It" is the recent slowdown in the rate of global warming surface temperatures.  A team of American and Australian researchers have concluded the slowdown is the result of stronger winds over the Pacific.

A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Sunday said stronger Pacific trade winds - a pattern of easterly winds spanning the tropics - over the past two decades had made ocean circulation at the Equator speed up, moving heat deeper into the ocean and bringing cooler water to the surface. The winds have also helped drive cooling in other ocean regions.

"We show that a pronounced strengthening in Pacific trade winds over the past two decades is sufficient to account for the cooling of the tropical Pacific and a substantial slowdown in surface warming," said the study, led by scientists from the University of New South Wales in Australia.

It will be interesting to see how this theory holds up over 2014 and 2015 should an anticipated El Nino develop.  While 2013 was rated the fourth or sixth warmest year on record, it was actually the second warmest year since 1850 that didn't have an El Nino event.  A report last month forecast a doubling of El Nino events this century and an increase in their intensity.

Best enjoy the reprieve while it lasts.


Grant G said...

There is Global warming and climate change..

Nobody is talking about why the weather is cool at present..

Melting sea-ice has spread cool ocean water far afield...more importantly melting ice has caused the northern Jetstream to shift south.


The Mound of Sound said...

Hi Grant. We've got a pretty good handle now on the Polar Vortex and how the loss of Arctic sea ice led to a more powerful Arctic atmosphere that charged the Polar Jet Stream. It's all just basic physics. There are several posts you can find on this blog dealing with this and the Rossby Wave phenomenon that brought freezing conditions to Atlanta, Georgia on the same day it brought 61F to Seward, Alaska.

Anonymous said...

"..easterly winds spanning the tropics - over the past two decades had made ocean circulation at the Equator speed up, moving heat deeper into the ocean.."

The best part of this is that climate models didn't predict the 17 year pause in global temperatures, therefore the models are wrong. They also didn't predict easterly winds causing increased ocean circulation, proving the models are wrong again.

I love it!

Keep up the great work guys, you make my life easier.


The Mound of Sound said...

That's why they're called 'models' Klem. No need for thanks. From what I can tell, your life has always been pretty easy - and simple.

Anonymous said...

I cannot count the number of times I have heard the comment "it can't be weather change, it's too cold". Go figure! These people do not have an interest in learning exactly what is taking place. Really sad! Anyong

The Mound of Sound said...

No they don't, Anyong, and we're just going to have to stop wasting time and effort to bring them into the consensus. It's time to treat them like the others in the Tinfoil Hat Brigade.

Penguin said...

I think I caught the sentiment in my comic:

The Mound of Sound said...

I had a look at some of your artwork, Penguin. You have a real talent. Keep it up.