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14 Articles

Natural Oceanic Cycles Are The Recent Major Climate Driver

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This article by Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt highlights four new papers that show natural oceanic cycles have a major effect on global climate change. Meehl et al. 2016 finds the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) explains 75% of the difference between the median climate model trends and observed trends during the period 1971 to 1995. Chikamoto et al. 2016 demonstratd that the remote impact of Atlantic sea surface temperature anomalies contributed to the eastern Pacific cooling from 1990 to 2013. Barcikowska et al. 2016 succeeded in integrating the ocean cycles in model simulations. The model’s derived component substantially shapes its global climate variability and is tightly linked to multidecadal variability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Dai et al. 2015 shows that the IPO explains most of the difference between observed and model-simulated 20th century rates of decadal temperature change. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is similar to the IPO except for the area of analysis. The PDO is north of 20° N and the IPO is 50°S to 50°N.

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.

The Stadium Wave

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Marcia Wyatt and Judith Curry published a paper that describes a low-frequency climate signal propagating across the Northern Hemisphere much like a stadium wave of people at a sporting event standing and sitting that propagates through the audience around the stadium. The ‘stadium wave’ climate signal propagates across the Northern Hemisphere through a network of ocean, ice, and atmospheric circulation regimes, including the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, that self-organize into a collective tempo. The authors identified two key ingredients to the propagation and maintenance of this stadium wave signal: the AMO and the sea ice extent in the Eurasian Arctic shelf seas. The AMO sets the signal’s tempo, while the sea ice bridges communication between ocean and atmosphere. “The stadium wave signal predicts that the current pause in global warming could extend into the 2030s,” Wyatt said, the paper’s lead author.

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.

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