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15 Articles

Coral Reefs in Turks and Caicos Islands Resist Bleaching Event

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This study of the corals on Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean from 2012 to 2018 found that 35 key coral species remained resilient during a 2017 global coral-bleaching event. The study found that corals that experienced bleaching quickly recovered. The lead author said "Boulder-type corals on the Turks and Caicos Islands demonstrated no significant bleaching as a result of the peak thermal stress in late 2015, … Plate-type corals did suffer bleaching, but they quickly rebounded. Their pigmentation levels were back to normal within months of the anomalously high thermal stress."

The Little Ice Age and 20th-century Deep Pacific Cooling

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Earth's climate cooled considerably across the transition from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age about 700 years ago. Theoretically, owing to how the ocean circulates, this cooling should be recorded in Pacific deep-ocean temperatures, where water that was on the surface then is found today. Gebbie and Huybers used an ocean circulation model and observations from both the end of the 19th century and the end of the 20th century to detect and quantify this trend. The ongoing deep Pacific is cooling, which revises Earth's overall heat budget since 1750 downward by 35%.

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.

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.

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.