Global warming in hiatus thanks to a strengthening in Pacific trade winds

Trends in temperature and ocean-atmosphere circulation in the Pacific over the past two decades.

Atmospheric greenhouse gases are increasing, and thereotically Earth’s temperature should have increased too. But since 2001, Earth’s global surface temperature has been almost the same. A study (made by Australia and the United States) has discovered why.

This pause is due to an acceleration in Pacific ocean trade winds. Because of them Pacific ocean has been cooled, even though greenhouse gases have increased. They have lead to a slowdown in surface warming through increased subsurface ocean heat uptake. This hiatus can continue during all this decade. The problem is that when the trade winds weaken again, the global warming will resume really fast, and this will have a huge impact in the Earth, as greenhouse gases concentration continue to rise.

In the original source the information is explained better, but it has more information than the source where I read it. The difference between them is that in the source there are some quotes from the Dr Steve Rintoul, research team leader at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research. There’s also another difference that is more important, in the original source they talk about ocean dynamics, saying that the accelerated trade winds have increased equatorial upwelling in the central and eastern Pacific, lowering sea surface temperature there, which drives further cooling in other regions.

In my opinion, this is not as good as it sounds. During this decade it will be fine, we will be better than if this trade winds hadn’t accelerated, but later I think that we will end up suffering really big consequences because global warming will resume and temperature will rise so fast in a short time. In my point of view, it’s better if it rise slowly, even if it doesn’t stop, at least like that we can adapt better to climate change.

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Estas entrada foi publicada en Curso 2013-2014, Medio Ambiente, Ecoloxía coas etiquetas , , , . Ligazón permanente.

2 Responses to Global warming in hiatus thanks to a strengthening in Pacific trade winds

  1. Very good,
    But I don’t agree with you on this: “[original source] it has more or less the same than…” In my opinion the abstract in Nature is much more accurate, as it explains the question in terms of ocean-atmosphere coupling; “the accelerated trade winds have increased equatorial upwelling in the central and eastern Pacific, lowering sea surface temperature there, which drives further cooling in other regions” (as you can see in Figure 3). Surprisingly, the piece of news from The Guardian do not mention ocean dynamics.

    Moreover, the figure you have inserted do not properly explains the phenomenon.

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