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The vast Southern Ocean along with the southern Atlantic make up an unbroken ring of ocean that rings the global south. That is the enormous area of ocean that swallowed up Flight 370 without trace in its little traveled expanse. It is also probably swallowing up vast amount of heat according to a new study published in the journal Science. Amounts of heat potentially large enough to affect terrestrial surface temperatures masking the amount of heat the earth is trapping leading to claims of a "Hiatus" in Global Warming.

Global warming slowdown answer lies in depths of Atlantic, study finds

Excess heat being stored hundreds of metres down in Atlantic and Southern oceans – not Pacific as previously thought

By Adam Vaughan

The key to the slowdown in global warming in recent years could lie in the depths of the Atlantic and Southern Oceans where excess heat is being stored – not the Pacific Ocean as has previously been suggested, according to new research.

But the finding suggests that a naturally occurring ocean cycle burying the heat will flip in around 15 years’ time, causing global temperature rises to accelerate again.

Several studies have focused on the Pacific as potentially playing a major role.

The new study, published in the journal Science on Thursday, concludes that the Pacific alone cannot explain the warming “hiatus” and that much of the heat being trapped by greenhouse gases at record levels in the atmosphere is being sunk hundreds of metres down in the Atlantic and Southern Oceans.

Ka-Kit Tung, author of the paper and University of Washington professor, said: “The finding is a surprise, since the current theories had pointed to the Pacific Ocean as the culprit for hiding heat. But the data are quite convincing and they show otherwise.”

For now this phenomena seems to be buffering the warming of surface temperatures, but that's likely to rebound in the future accelerating the effects of Global Warming 15 years down the road.


Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 06:37 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, Climate Hawks, and Climate Change SOS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The clock is ticking (36+ / 0-)

    "The Democrats and the Republicans are equally corrupt where money is concerned. It's only in the amount where the Republicans excel." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 06:34:01 PM PDT

  •  the good thing is Renewables are growing so fast (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid

    that by the time that heat resurfaces, we may have
    pretty much ended the carbon economy.

  •  What is that going to do to the Ocean Understory? (7+ / 0-)

    What changes will happen there? And how will those changes affect us?

  •  This is the same study as cited yesterday (11+ / 0-)

    in HoundDog's diary.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    The conclusion may be correct, but we need to be careful about giving any credence to the idea that global warming has stopped, that there is a "lull", or a "hiatus".  The fact is that the earth is warming.  If you cherry pick a particularly warm year as a starting point then you can show that there has been a "lull" or a "hiatus" since then.

    Cherry picking that date is bullshit!

    The earth is warming.  It's a fact.  Maybe it isn't warming quite as fast as some scientists predicted, and maybe this new study offers some explanation for that.

    Still, we need to be careful not to add any credibility to the bullshit spewed out by people like Watts and Morano.

    •  Thanks for the link (6+ / 0-)

      I missed it.

      "The Democrats and the Republicans are equally corrupt where money is concerned. It's only in the amount where the Republicans excel." ~ Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 06:58:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sceptical Science's wonderful graphic (8+ / 0-)

      Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

      by blue aardvark on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 07:08:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The earth is steadily warming as you point out (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grollen, Lefty Coaster, cpresley

      ImpactAv, and I agree with your warning of presenting this in the wrong way such that we cause confusion would be a great error.

      We must go back and double check all the data, my impression until then that the more accurate way of explaining this is "while the average temperatures  measured  in our atmosphere has been steadily rising, consistent with the warnings we've heard from the IPCC studies, the models of our best understanding of how CO2 levels should affect global temperature suggest the the record levels of temperatures we have been observing should cause levels of global warming even greater than the frightening and devastating trend line we seem to be own.

      If we imagine a steadily growing measured temperature level on a trajectory towards climate disaster  that the overwhelming majority of climate scientist assure us we are on, and then super-impose on this a 60 year oscillation of salinity and ocean temperature, in the Atlantic Ocean and South Seas, that alternately pulls heat out of the atmosphere for 30 years and then disgorges it for the next thirty year when realize the extra dangers of a  misperception trap we may fall into, and may have already fallen into.

      If, and this is a big if, Professor Tung and his team are correct then an enormous amount of heat which should have driven our temperatures even higher than they are, has been "diverted deep under the Atlantic Ocean for the past 20 years.  

      This more like a sinusoidal wave than and on off switch, so in the next 10 years, this illusion is going to end which will mean the additional heat will start showing up 100% in measured atmospheric temperature.

      But, wait! It may actually be worse, and here I confess I have to read the original article because the news reports seem conflicting about the "disgorging affect" but if the article I reported yesterday and the one above true then much of this heat being stored in this secret reservoir is going to be dumped back into the atmosphere causing a spike in the perceived (or in this case misperceived) trend line.

      Not only will we spike back up to the "correct long-term average increases in temperature but the rate of increase in that increasing temperature will itself increase faster than the true long-term rate of already catastrophic increase.

      Some mathematicians of the sort I studied with call this "multimodes of dynamics behavior" or "super-positioning."

      For example if you imagined a 2% average annual growth rate of of GDP from technological advance (I one long ago estimated it at 1.8% over the last 100 years.) and a Population Growth rate that was higher  , above 2% but falling to almost replacement rate in the U.S. if we exclude immigration, ( and here I mean exclude it from our thinking about the mathematical illustration on in terms of national policy) we see an upward,, curve of GDP growth for he U.S. of  initially 4% compounded per year falling to 2% (the population growth rate may have been a little higher I'm speaking from memories long-long ago.

      Now imagine we superimpose on top of this growth rate the business cycle which as usually been an up and down cycle of between 4 to 7 or eight years.  With an extra big Depression of the early 30s and Great Recession of 2008.

      When you add them together one gets sort of a roller coaster like affect where the upswings seem higher by the combined affects of the two different trend lines.

      Last night in the article I described I thought Professor Tung had come up with a more clever way to explain this by using the metaphor of the rising staircase.

      Each time one goes around the circle of the oscillating mode of behavior one starts at the higher place in the long-term growth mode of behavior.

      What make this metaphor a lot less clever and clear than I originally  thought is that Professor Tung is imagining in his head these Phase State diagram of the oscillatory mode as a circle that come back to the the same spot each cycle and time goes into circle in this type of diagram.

      99% of people are not going to find this helpful but confusing since we think of an oscillation like a sin wave going up and down in a dimension with time going from left to right.  So what is all this crap about a circle and a circular star case? Am I right? A lot of people are saying WTF!

      What Tung is thinking of is a different type of diagram with the major integrations, in this case atmospheric and deep ocean temperature plotted against their rates, which look like circles when one takes time out of the plot.

      These articles are not clear, but we know from first principles that oscillations require two mathematical integrations (accumulators) connected with a major negative feedback loop (one traveling between the two "Levels" or accumulators. which act as delays.
      which is why we allows hear people saying one needs a major negative feedback loop with a delay to have oscillations. The second integration is the delay.  

      In this case we can infer that one key variable is the salinity of the ocean water (well if we disaggtregate this into different depths of the ocean in can become in infinite number but lets keep this illustration simple.

      Since water with higher concentrations of salinity sinks I remember correctly  what I am guessing we will discover when we read Tung's original paper is he will suggest that  as hotter atmospheric temperature evaporates and the hotter ocean surface water sinks it carries down with it a whole lot of this atmospheric heat.

      If we did not have the background longer-term heating pulling heat out of the atmosphere should cause the polar icecaps to expand relative to their longer term average causing the whole ocean to experience an increase in salinity, which my guess is must neutralize or reduce the rate of the down swells so the heat rises again because without the salinity affect hot water should rise.

      But this addition to heat will then increase the net melting of the icecaps.  So you see it is like a circle, if we take on the longer term trend.

      So I hope this has cleared things up.

      This is the point of the lessons where I'd always bring out that old Skyler cartoon where the teacher asks Skyler, "there Skyler do you understand it now?"

      And Skyler would say, "no, but I'm confused on a higher plane," and everyone would laugh and we could all go home pretending that all was OK.

      Seriously, though I hope I've cleared up how even though the long-term average of measured atmospheric temperature can be steadily rising out an alarming rate, however the rate at which that up and down trend is increasing can itself be oscillating and has periods of "lull" and spurt which will be superimposed.

      Meaning, if this theory is true, we are in much worse shape than we realize and by the time we realize how bad it is become in 2024 and after it may be too late too avoid the maximize 2 degree centigrade benchmark the scientific community has set as the absolute max to avoid much worse disaster than we've generally been expecting.

      But, we are already not reducing our CO2 emission anywhere near enough to reach that goal, so in other words "we are most likely totally screwed. Doubly so."

      And despite Imapact Av absolutely correct warning that we should not allow this "temporary illusion of slower rates of global warming to lead our leaders and population into thinking things are not as bad as they are, that is exactly what we've all been doing.

      And our children will ask how we could have all been so stupid, thinking they are smarter than we are, but they will make the same error! Ha!

      So they are going to suffer vastly more than we have.

       

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:07:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There isn't a hiatus. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ImpactAv, FarWestGirl

      1. The curve is going up.
      2. It will continue to go up. e.g.; April/May/June are the warmest on record.

    •  'Hiatus' will likely be followed by cascade.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lefty Coaster

      acceleration.

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
      ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

      by FarWestGirl on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:45:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not convinced that the cycles will be the same (9+ / 0-)

    now that we have warmed the climate and melted lots of ice. In particular, the freshening of the water around Antarctica from melting the glaciers below sea level is a game changer. The world's coldest bottom water stopped forming.

    “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

    by FishOutofWater on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 07:02:23 PM PDT

    •  Salinity is important. (4+ / 0-)

      Diluted saltwater means less dense saltwater. Warming water
      also decreases density, which suppresses thermohaline circulation or THC ;).

      This global-scale mixing (THC) promotes carbon sequestration, so warmer sea surface temps and less salty water reduce the ability of the oceans to sequester atmospheric CO2.

      This leads to warmer sea surface temps, ice melting, and increased atmospheric CO2 (since less is removed).

    •  I agree. With the steadily increasing rates of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lefty Coaster

      melting I reported yesterday, the increasing salinity part of the cycle should be broken, meaning we probably will not get another 30 years of cooling after 40 years from now when it would be really convenient.

      But by that time it will be so overwhelmingly clear the deniers are stupid, that we will be having different debates.

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:11:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We live in air so we pay more attention (5+ / 0-)

    But all that heat going into the ocean is going to come out and then we'll have to pay attention.

    A lot of attention.

    So, 15 years until the deniers have to give up. What will CO2 levels be then?

    Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

    by blue aardvark on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 07:03:48 PM PDT

  •  So It's More a Case of "Different Sea Culprit" (4+ / 0-)

    identified for oceanic diversion of atmospheric warming.

    There can't be very much diversion though, because we're still setting or near to setting global atmospheric temperatures. I have the feeling a rightwing meme is leaking into descriptions of what's going on.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 07:12:36 PM PDT

  •  Record Sea Ice Extent in the South at this time. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster, grollen

    My feeling is that it is because it is warmer rather than colder. Fresh water runoff from Antarctica freezes easily.

  •  The sun started getting colder in 2002 (0+ / 0-)

    bottoming out in 2010 and yet our temperatures stayed the same.

    Had the sun not gotten colder we would have had an increase in temperatures.

    A million Arcosantis.

    by Villabolo on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 08:59:47 PM PDT

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