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Pause To Continue For Another Decade As Atlantic Cooling Masks Global Warming Says IPCC Scientist

 

This simulation of sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic comes from research just published that links changes in the pressure system over the North Atlantic with changes in sea surface temperature and changes in the Atlantic Ocean current system. The key finding, according to the researchers behind the simulation at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, is that the North Atlantic is set to cool slightly over the coming decade. Mojib Latif (inset) from GEOMAR, who led the research effort, has told reportingclimatescience.com that this means that the so called global warming pause - also known as the hiatus and the slowdown - is set to continue. Latif, who has contributed to past reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was among a number of researchers who back in 2008 in a paper in Nature boldly and explicitly predicted that cooling in the tropical Pacific and in the Atlantic would offset and mask the impact of human-induced global warming and, in effect, forecast the continuation of the pause. This prediction seems to have been correct. Our story on the GEOMAR research is here and our story on Latif's thoughts on the pause is here. Images courtesy: GEOMAR.

 

 

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Satellites Underestimate Atmospheric Temperature Warming Trend By Up To 30 Per Cent Says Study

 

NOAA scientist Fuzhong Weng (left) tells reportingclimatescience.com that his research shows satellite measurements of atmospheric temperature may underestimate the long term global warming trend by as much as 30 per cent. This finding, which is strongly contested by satellite temperature pioneer John Christy (right) of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), could explain much of the puzzling gap between surface and satellite-based temperature records whereby satellites seem to show a lower warming trend than surface measurements. Weng and colleagues have reported their findings from the NOAA-15 satellite data in the scientific journal Climate Dynamics and he says that they have repeated the analysis on the entire satellite dataset and that the results are the same. The results suggest that rain clouds depress the apparent atmospheric temperature and that the scale of the effect depends on the wavelength – and hence on the instrument channel. The graph above, from the Weng et al paper, shows the impact of rain on channel 5 of the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A (AMSU-A) instrument carried by NOAA-15. If true, then this would increase the global warming trend reported by Christy's UAH group from 0.14C per decade to 0.18C per decade - very close to the 0.2C per decade reported by the surface temperature datasets. Christy told reportingclimatescience.com that Weng's result "is not correct". Our news story is here. Images courtesy: NOAA, Climate Dynamics, UAH.

 

 

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Arctic Sea Ice Decline Doubles The Chances Of Severe Winters In Europe And Asia Says Research

 

Severe winters across Europe and Asia are twice as likely as a result of the decline in Arctic sea ice, according to new research. Computer simulations have linked the observed decline in sea ice in the Arctic since 2004 with an increased probability of the occurrence of persistent atmospheric circulation patterns, known as blocking patterns, suggests a study published online in Nature Geoscience. These blocking situations favour the transport of cold air to Eurasia, and hence create conditions for severe winters in the region, the researchers write in their paper, entitled “Robust Arctic sea-ice influence on the frequent Eurasian cold winters in past decades”. The graphic from the research paper shows surface air temperature variations. Our report here. Image courtesy: Nature Geoscience.

 

 

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Research Sheds Light On The Complexities Of How Marine Life Fixes Carbon From The Atmosphere

 

An algal bloom at sea seen from space. When we talk about global carbon fixation –"pumping" carbon out of the atmosphere and fixing it into organic molecules by photosynthesis – proper measurement is key to understanding this process. By some estimates, almost half of the world’s organic carbon is fixed by marine organisms called phytoplankton – single-celled photosynthetic organisms that account for less than one percent of the total photosynthetic biomass on Earth. Tiny as they are, phytoplankton can be seen from space: They multiply in blooms that can reach thousands of kilometers in area, colouring patches of the ocean that can be tracked and measured by satellites. These blooms have a tendency to grow quickly and disappear suddenly. How much carbon does such a bloom fix, and what happens to that carbon when the bloom dies out? That depends, in part on what kills the bloom. If it is mostly eaten by other marine life, for example, its carbon will be passed up the food chain. If the phytoplankton are starved or infected with viruses, however, the process is more complicated. Dead organisms that sink may take their carbon to the ocean floor with them. But others may be scavenged by certain bacteria in the surface waters; these remove the organic carbon and release it back into the atmosphere through their respiration. Our report here. Image courtesy: NASA.

 

 

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