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Providing Insight
Into Climate Change
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15 Articles

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.

Whatever Happened to Global Warming?

Matt Ridley remarks that several world leader will not be attending the UN summit of climate change, likely because they no longer consider it as an urgent threat. Ridley writes, "Global warming has stopped since shortly before this century began." Climate researcher have made many explanations for the 'pause' in warming, all of which imply that man-made climate change is so slow and tentative that it can be easily overwhelmed by natural variation in temperature—a possibility that they had previously all but ruled out. Researches have found that half of the late 20th century warming was due to a natural Atlantic Ocean cycle. The man-made warming of the past 20 years has been so feeble that a shifting current in one ocean was enough to wipe it out altogether.

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

Technical Rating: star maintains an extensive database of studies that record changes of life characteristics of marine organisms in response to various ocean pH levels. The maximum expected decline of ocean pH is 0.3 which is expected to occur about 2100 after which pH values start a slow recovery. The linear trend of all the data to 0.3 pH change is actually positive, indicating an overall beneficial response of the totality of the five major life characteristics of marine sea life to ocean acidification.

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