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Providing Insight
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12 Articles

Researchers Astonished: Coral Reefs Thriving in a more “acidic” ocean

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The researchers at Woods Hole have spent four years doing a comprehensive study at Palau Rock Islands in the far Western Pacific, where pH levels are naturally “more acidic” (which is big-government speak for less alkaline). They found a diverse healthy system they describe as “thriving” with “greater coral cover” and more “species”. ‘That’s not to say the coral community is thriving because of it, rather it is thriving despite the low pH' says a co-author of the study. ‘Based on lab experiments and studies of other naturally low pH reef systems, this is the opposite of what we expected,’ says lead author Hannah Barkley.

Modeled and Observed Trends of Sea Surface Temperatures

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Bob Tisdale compares satellite-era sea surface temperature data with climate model hind-casts and finds that "climate models almost double the observed warming rate of the global ocean surfaces." He also finds that "There are no similarities between the spatial patterns of the modeled and observed trends. The models show the greatest warming near the equator, while in the real world, the greatest warming has occurred at mid and high latitudes." The warming of the North Atlantic was dominated by the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and the C-shaped warming of the Pacific was dominated by El Nino, both natural processes that are not simulated in climate models.

Cause of Hiatus Found Deep in the Atlantic Ocean

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An important paper published in the journal 'Science' found that half of the warming during the last 3 decades of the 20th century was caused by a natural Atlantic Ocean cycle that kept more heat near the surface. The paper shows that the ocean cycle also drew heat into the deep Atlantic causing the 21st century pause in surface warming. The cycles are driven by salinity changes. The authors write "the current slowdown in global warming could last for another decade, or longer". The results implies that the earth is much less sensitive to greenhouse gas emissions than assumed in climate models. Judith Curry summaries and comments on the paper in this article.

El Nino Warming Reduces Climate Sensitivity

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Global average ocean temperature variations to 2,000 m depth during 1955 - 2011 are simulated with a 40 layer 1D forcing-feedback-mixing model. The model included ENSO-related changes in cloud cover preceding the temperature change. The time lag and amount of cloud changes were adjusted to make the best match to the ocean temperature and the CERES satellite observations. When the cloud effects of ENSO are included, the equilibrium climate sensitivity falls from 2.2 to 1.3 Celsius for double CO2, or a 41% reduction. The ENSO process causes clouds to change, causing a temperature change. Part of the 20th century warming was caused by ENSO activity.

Ocean Acidification Database - Results & Conclusions

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