New study says impacts expected to show up in 20-30 years
Ocean researchers tracking currents in the North Atlantic say that, so far, the massive amounts of freshwater, pouring off the melting Greenland Ice Sheet haven’t yet had a major effect on the Gulf Stream.
Study tracks links between melting ice cap, Atlantic Ocean currents
FRISCO — The retreat of sea ice caused by global warming could lead to colder weather for parts of northwestern Europe, Canadian researchers said after studying changing ocean dynamics in the North Atlantic.
The new research reinforces previous findings that the shrinking Arctic ice cap is likely to change the delicate balance between the cold and dense water pouring out of the Arctic and the warm waters of the subtropical Atlantic, according to professor G.W.K. Moore, of the University of Toronto Mississauga. Continue reading “Melting Arctic sea ice could ‘cool’ Europe”→
Influx of cold, fresher water could tip climate scale
FRISCO — Earth scientists have long speculated that a massive infusion of cold and relatively fresh water into the North Atlantic could disrupt a key climate-regulating ocean current, with huge consequences for adjacent land areas.
New measurements of ocean temperatures in the region, along with other climate data, now suggest that the Atlantic Overturning Current has already slowed quite a bit in the past 100 years, and especially since 1970. The current, which is related to the Gulf Stream, helps moderate temperatures in northwestern Europe and northeastern North America.
Detailed ocean sedimentlayers paint clear picture of link between Arctic sea ice movement and ocean currents
FRISCO — An extraordinarily clear deposit of layered seafloor sediments has helped researchers explain the connection between Arctic sea ice movement and the movement of key ocean currents that redistribute warm water across the northern hemisphere.
Yes, but effects are small compared to changes driven by greenhouse gases
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — After carefully studying cycles of solar activities and matching them against seafloor sediments that offer clues about ocean temperatures, Cardiff University scientists say low sunspot activity may be linked with phases of cold weather in Europe.
The study found that changes in the Sun’s activity can have a considerable impact on the ocean-atmospheric dynamics in the North Atlantic, with potential effects on regional climate.
While the effects of variations in solar energy are small compared to the impacts of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, the effects of solar output on the ocean and atmosphere should be taken into account when making future climate projections, the researchers said. Continue reading “Does solar activity affect regional climate?”→
Researchers eye global warming impacts to North Atlantic region
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Some of the biggest potential global warming impacts could occur if major ocean currents change in strength or direction — a shift in the Gulf Stream, for example, would have major implications for parts of northwestern Europe, kept temperate by the transport of subtropical water.
Some research has suggested that increasing amounts of cold, fresh water in the North Atlantic could have a big impact on the Gulf Stream and other important currents, but there’s not a lot of detailed historic or baseline data against which to measure changes. But that could change in the next few years, as science agencies in the U.S. and the U.K. team up on a $70 million project to study North Atlantic currents. Continue reading “Climate: New effort launched to monitor ocean currents”→
‘The ocean is rising and it’s going to keep rising for quite some time’
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — What until recently was a mostly academic discussion about sea level rise is starting to hit home — literally —as Americans watch devastating storms like Katrina, Irene and Sandy engulf cities and fundamentally alter the shape of coastal areas.
“What is very clear is, the ocean is rising and it’s going to keep rising for quite some time. The difference from last time is, now, there are a lot of people living on the coast,” said Margaret Davidson, acting director of NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. Davidson’s powerpoint presentation is online here, and a video of her presentation should also be posted at the same place soon.
The consequences of rising sea level are likely to be enormous, given that the majority of the country’s population lives along coastlines, and those coastal cities generate a huge percentage of the country’s economic wealth.