North Atlantic cooling suggests climate is about to change over much of the northern hemisphere

North Atlantic cooling suggests climate is about to change over much of the northern hemisphere

Based on the observations of ocean heat content in the North Atlantic Ocean, the climate in the northern hemisphere is on the verge of a change that could last for several decades. This change is associated with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO)1 - a mode of natural variability occurring, with a period of 60 - 80 years, in the North Atlantic Ocean sea surface temperature (SST) field.

Observations made by Argo buoys2 have shown that the North Atlantic Ocean (60-0W, 30-65N) is rapidly cooling since 20073. This is associated with the natural variability in the North Atlantic Ocean sea surface temperatures - the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). However, the observed cooling does not only apply to the sea surface, but to the uppermost 700 m (2 296 feet) of the ocean.

The AMO index appears to be correlated to air temperatures and rainfall over much of the northern hemisphere4. The association appears to be high for North Eastern Brazil, African Sahel rainfall and North American and European summer climate. The AMO index also appears to be associated with changes in the frequency of North American droughts and is reflected in the frequency of severe Atlantic hurricanes.

"As one example, the AMO index may be related to the past occurrence of major droughts in the US Midwest and the Southwest. When the AMO is high, these droughts tend to be more frequent or prolonged, and vice-versa for low values of AMO. Two of the most severe droughts of the 20th century in the US occurred during the peak AMO values between 1925 and 1965: The Dust Bowl of the 1930s and the 1950s drought. On the other hand, Florida and the Pacific Northwest tend to be the opposite; high AMO is associated with relatively high precipitation."

Cooling of the Atlantic is likely to bring drier summers in Britain and Ireland, accelerated sea-level rise along the northeast coast of the United States, and drought in the developing countries of the African Sahel region, a press release for a study by scientists from the University of Southampton and National Oceanography Centre (NOC) published last year said5. "Since this new climatic phase could be half a degree cooler, it may well offer a brief reprise from the rise of global temperatures, as well as result in fewer hurricanes hitting the United States. The study proves that ocean circulation is the link between weather and decadal scale climatic change. It is based on observational evidence of the link between ocean circulation and the decadal variability of sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean."

Lead author of this study, Dr. Gerard McCarthy from the NOC, said: "Sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic vary between warm and cold over time-scales of many decades. These variations have been shown to influence temperature, rainfall, drought and even the frequency of hurricanes in many regions of the world. This decadal variability is a notable feature of the Atlantic Ocean and the climate of the regions it influences."

These climatic phases, referred to as positive or negative AMO's, are the result of the movement of heat northwards by a system of ocean currents. This movement of heat changes the temperature of the sea surface, which has a profound impact on climate on timescales of 20 - 30 years. The strength of these currents is determined by the same atmospheric conditions that control the position of the jet stream. Negative AMO's occur when the currents are weaker and so less heat is carried northwards towards Europe from the tropics. The strength of ocean currents has been measured by a network of sensors, called the RAPID array, which have been collecting data on the flow rate of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) for a decade.

The AMOC, part of which is known as the Gulf Stream, has been seen to weaken over the past 10 years, a study by Laura Jackson of the UK's Met Office said6. Her study also suggests that this weakening trend is likely due to variability over decades. "The AMOC plays a vital role in our climate as it transports heat northwards in the Atlantic and keeps Europe relatively warm," Jackson said. Any substantial weakening of a major North Atlantic ocean current system would have a profound impact on the climate of northwest Europe, including the UK. The research also showed a link between the weakening in the AMOC and decreases in density in the Labrador Sea (between Greenland and Canada) several years earlier.

In the diagrams below, courtesy of Ole Humlum4, only original (raw) AMO values are shown.

Humlum writes: "As is seen from the annual diagram, the AMO index has been increasing since the beginning of the record in 1856, although with a clear, about 60 yr long, variation superimposed. Often, AMO values are shown linearly detrended to remove the overall increase since 1856, to emphasize the apparent rhythmic 60 yr variation. This detrending is usually intended to remove the alleged influence of greenhouse gas-induced global warming from the analysis, believed to cause the overall increase. However, as is seen in the diagram below, the overall increase has taken place since at least 1856, long before the alleged strong influence of increasing atmospheric CO2 began around 1975 (IPCC 2007). Therefore, the overall increase is likely to have another explanation; it may simply represent a natural recovery since the end of the previous cold period (the Little Ice Age). If so, the general AMO increase since 1856 may well represent part of a longer natural variation, too long to be fully represented by the AMO data series since 1856. For the above reasons, only the original (not detrended) AMO values are shown in the two diagrams below:"

Annual Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) index values since 1856. The thin line indicates 3-month average values, and the thick line is the simple running 11-year average. Data source: Earth System Research Laboratory at NOAA. Last year shown: 2015. Last diagram update January 20, 2016.

Monthly Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) index values since January 1979. The thin line indicates 3-month average values, and the thick line is the simple running 11-year average. By choosing January 1979 as starting point, the diagram is easy to compare with other types of temperature diagrams covering the satellite period since 1979. Data source: Earth System Research Laboratory at NOAA. Last month shown: May 2016. Last diagram update: June 13, 2016.

The map below shows the North Atlantic area within 60-0W and 30-65N, for which the heat content within the uppermost 700 m is shown in the diagrams below it3.

North Atlantic area within 60-0W and 30-65N. Credit: Climate4you

Global monthly heat content anomaly (GJ/m2) in the uppermost 700 m of the North Atlantic (60-0W, 30-65N) ocean since January 1979. The thin line indicates monthly values, and the thick line represents the simple running 37 month (c. 3 year) average. The starting month (January 1979) is chosen to enable easy comparison with global air temperature estimates within the satellite period. Data source: National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC). Last period shown: January-March 2016. Last diagram update June 7, 2016.

Global monthly heat content anomaly (GJ/m2) in the uppermost 700 m of the North Atlantic (60-0W, 30-65N) ocean since January 1955. The thin line indicates monthly values, and the thick line represents the simple running 37 month (c. 3 year) average. Data source: National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC). Last period shown: January-March 2016. Last diagram update June 7, 2016.

Interestingly, in a study by Zhou et al.7, a significant correlation was found between the solar wind speed (SWS) and sea surface temperature (SST) in the region of the North Atlantic Ocean for the northern hemisphere winter from 1963 to 2010, based on 3-month seasonal averages. "The correlation is dependent on Bz (the interplanetary magnetic field component parallel to the Earth's magnetic dipole) as well as the SWS, and somewhat stronger in the stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) west phase than in the east phase. The correlations with the SWS are stronger than those with the F10.7 parameter representing solar UV inputs to the stratosphere. SST responds to changes in tropospheric dynamics via wind stress, and to changes in cloud cover affecting the radiative balance. Suggested mechanisms for the solar influence on SST include changes in atmospheric ionization and cloud microphysics affecting cloud cover, storm invigoration, and tropospheric dynamics. Such changes modify upward wave propagation to the stratosphere, affecting the dynamics of the polar vortex. Also, direct solar inputs, including energetic particles and solar UV, produce stratospheric dynamical changes. Downward propagation of stratospheric dynamical changes eventually further perturbs tropospheric dynamics and SST."

The solar-wind speeds peak about 3 or 4 years after the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) and sunspots peak in each cycle8

Sunspot number progression observed from 2000 - May 2016. Credit NOAA/SWPC

Based on the current sunspot observations, their number for this solar cycle has peaked in January 2015, and our star is now on a steady path toward its next Solar Minimum, expected to hit the base just after 2020.

Global sea surface temperature anomaly for June 13, 2016 - current deviation of the surface temperature of Earth's oceans from normal. Credit: NCEP (link leads to the latest map)

North Atlantic Ocean sea surface anomaly for June 13, 2016 - current deviation from normal. Credit: NCEP (link leads to the latest map)

References:

  1. Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) - NCAR/UCAR - CGD's Climate Analysis Section
  2. Argo - UCSanDiego -  Argo is a major contributor to the WCRP 's Climate Variability and Predictability Experiment (CLIVAR) project and to the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE). The Argo array is part of the Global Climate Observing System/Global Ocean Observing System GCOS /GOOS
  3. North Atlantic Ocean (60-0W, 30-65N) heat content 0-700 m depth - Climate4you
  4. AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) Index - Climate4you
  5. Global climate on verge of multi-decadal change - Science Daily
  6. Research provides new perspectives on recent changes in the Atlantic Ocean - UK Met Office 
  7. Correlations of global sea surface temperatures with the solar wind speed - Zhou et. al. - Science Direct
  8. The Solar Wind may be changing the surface temperature of the North Atlantic - JoNova

Featured image: North Atlantic Ocean sea surface anomaly for June 13, 2016 - current deviation from normal. Credit: NCEP

Comments

Evie 1 year ago

Whirled publishing.

You guys are SO OBVIOUS.

Your response to a regular person's comment to what he FEELS is something "fishy" , is met with a big display of your "superior intellect", calling anyone elses viewpoint stupid, and threatening to withdraw your subscription.

Who really cares if you do that?

Freedom of opinion is still an option, until you "superior" intellect guys help to silence someones gut feeling, policing by an attempt to shame and eventually censoring what a regular person might think.

You even mention IQs like that is some sort of real measure of "intelligence". SERIOUSLY?

So obvious.

TW (@Evie) 1 year ago

Exactly. <3

Dano 1 year ago

You..erm.."forgot" to mention a major factor in the reason for the water temperature cooling: melting of the Greenland ice cap.

Why?

Best,

D

iambuzzlightyear (@Dano) 1 year ago

Citations?

TW (@Dano) 1 year ago

Thanks Dano. I suggest you guys start using this: https://watchers.news/write-an-article/ or reach out via https://watchers.news/contact-us/ and explain us your thoughts, conclusions... in an article form. That way, we can all try to learn something from you.

Rudy Haugeneder 1 year ago

Perhaps it's because I just happen to be very tired at this moment and unable to digest all the details without reading the article more than once, but it leaves me with the impression that while we are impacting the global environment, periodic natural solar and earth ocean variations are the main source(s) of changes-- and we are mostly innocent. Well?

Whirled Publishing 1 year ago

kdeh2, thank you. I invite the readers of this article to look at the anomaly maps on this page.

Notice all the brown around Greenland?

Everyone wants to overlook what this?

The unusually warm sea waters around Greenland are 4 - 10 degrees C ( 40 - 50 degrees F ). What happens when 40 degree waters come up against ice shelves?

With a show of hands... anyone?

It's ok if you don't have a PhD in oceanography, school children can answer this one.

That's right, the ice shelves rapidly melt.

What happens to the unusually high volume of glacial melt?

It flows into the North Atlantic -

which results in unusually cool ocean waters.

You see how simple science is?

What's causing the warm waters around Greenland?

The same thing that's causing the Arctic to warm up faster than any other place on Earth.

Unusually warm waters are recorded all across the Arctic, north of Europe, along the coasts of Alaska and along the coasts of eastern Russia, as well as all across the eastern half of the equatorial Pacific and in many other locations of the world.

Why?

Why would brilliant oceanographers - who stuff their pockets with public funds - overlook the exponential increase in volcanic and seismic activity that's been going on all around the world?

When the volcanic activity increases, volcanoes on the sea floor - which represent about 90% of the world's volcanic activity - are most likely also increasing - in this case, exponentially.

What happens when volcanoes on the sea floor - and lava-hot seamounts - go ballistic?

Do you suppose the sea water might warm up?

Well, yes, when you heat up water, the water warms up.

So what can we conclude about this piece of crap "science" article - without being overly outraged?

Before answering, for those who don't know, a "Quickfire carbon capture" is now available to help end the abrupt climate change caused by CO2 - everyone get out your money to pay for it - but don't bother acknowledging the lava-hot seamounts - along the shallow waters of the sea shores - that are heating the sea waters there and rapidly melting the ice shelves and glaciers.

Forecast map of temperatures: http://pamola.um.maine.edu/fcst_frames/GFS-025deg/WeeklySummary/GFS-025deg_ARC-LEA_T2_max.png

In defense of oceanographers, the average IQ of "scientists" is barely above average - which means oceanographers, geologists, seismologists, glaciologists and their chemists don't have the intellect to comprehend the complexities in their field of study, let alone the complexities involved in abrupt climate change and in the extinction level event that's currently underway. None of us expect developmentally delayed kids to understand Calculus - likewise, none of us should expect someone with an IQ below 180 to understand all the variables and dynamics that are responsible for the extinction level event.

Frankly, THE WATCHERS should take down this piece of trashy "science" from their website. If I see one more propaganda article on this "service", I will cancel my subscription. There's no way you "Watchers" are this stupid.

John from London (@Whirled Publishing) 1 year ago

"Why would brilliant oceanographers - who stuff their pockets with public funds - overlook the exponential increase in volcanic and seismic activity that's been going on all around the world? "

Oceanographers haven't overlooked undersea volcanic warming. They've found that it's trivial compared to mankind's Great CO2 Experiment. Strangely enough, they've also noticed that volcanic activity *hasn't* been increasing and increasing and increasing along with the temperatures. You'd have thought that they would if it's all about the volcanoes, wouldn't you. I guess that logic just isn't a strong point of wishful-thinking Deniers,

So here's my equally biased question. Why would "brilliant" commentators like you - who stuff their pockets with Fossil Fuel company funds¹ - overlook the science and/or ignore it and pull plausible but incorrect stories out of their imagination?

¹ "Stuffing of pockets". Yes, I can make daft accusations just as well as you. Although, to be honest, I believe that mine has a chance of being true whereas I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you do not have the first clue about science funding.

I'm not even going to bother rejecting the rest of your misinformed nonsense.

TW (@Whirled Publishing) 1 year ago

Hi WP, Thank you for the comment, I appreciate it. Please use this: https://watchers.news/write-an-article/ or reach out via https://watchers.news/contact-us/ and explain us your thoughts, conclusions... in an article form.

Evie 1 year ago

This is for you kdeh2.

I am OVERJOYED to read your comment.

I think i love you. If you are a straight single male and over 65, will you marry me?

Laughing out loud! Have a good one.

kdeh2 1 year ago

Bought and paid for 'so-called' climate change scientist want the masses to believe that man-made climate change is the cause of earths climate change and even of the north and south magnetic poles current major shifting, but it's the other way around! The shifting of the poles is the primary culprit responsible for the climate change and explains very simple the change in weather patterns, temperatures, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, etc! Other planets, (not just the earth) experiences pole shifts - It's normal! They didn't have man-made climate change during the earths past multiple pole shifts, there were no man-caused climate changes that caused the poles to shift! So what is their real excuse for this one? MONEY! Billions of MONEY in their pathetic greedy lying stinky full of crap pockets! Pole shifts are NORMAL, not that we're helping to slow it down any, 'BUT' they are 'NORMAL' and 'HEALTHY' for the Earth!

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