Ship-based observations significantly underestimate carbon dioxide outgassing in the high-latitude Southern Ocean

It is widely believed that the Southern Ocean accounts for a significant portion of the oceanic uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2). However, flux estimates in this region are based on sparse ship-based observations that are strongly biased towards summer. A new study published in Geophysical Research Letters presented new estimates of Southern Ocean air‐sea CO2 fluxes based... Continue Reading →

Arctic sea-ice decrease may suppress U.S. tornado activity in summer

The observed losses in  Arctic sea ice during the past decades have been linked to the relaxation of poleward thickness gradients (thus weakened zonal winds) and a slower eastward progression of Rossby waves in the upper-level, which help promote prolonged extreme weather conditions, such as heat waves, within the mid-latitudes (e.g., Francis & Vavrus, 2012). However, the background... Continue Reading →

Cross-equatorial winds control El Niño diversity and change

A new study published in Nature Climate Change used idealized coupled model experiments to show that increased cross-equatorial winds in the eastern Pacific during the past decades strengthened the cold tongue (south of the equator). This in turn reduced ENSO amplitude and promoted more central Pacific (CP) - type El Nino events. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0248-0

Southern Hemisphere westerly winds and possible links to CO2 outgassing

Some model studies suggested that the current strengthening and poleward shift of the Southern Hemisphere (SH) westerly winds brought carbon-rich Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) to the surface and reduced ΔpCO2, weakening the anthropocentric carbon sink (e.g., Mikaloff-Fletcher, 2015). A new study, which appeared in Nature Geoscience,  presented a 12,300-year reconstruction of SH westerly winds based on three... Continue Reading →

Observed rapid bedrock uplift in Amundsen Sea Embayment promotes ice-sheet stability

An article published in Science analyzed GPS station data collected around the West Antarctica to report a rapid uplift of the Amundsen Sea Embayment in response to ice mass loss during the recent decades. This suggests that as ice mass is lost, the crust rebounds much faster than previously expected (thought to occur on a time scale of 10,000 years)... Continue Reading →

A coastal coccolithophore species (O. neapolitana) maintains pH homeostasis and switches carbon sources in response to ocean acidification

According to a new article published in Nature Communications, a coastal coccolithophore species (Ochrosphaera neapolitana), which has a unique mechanism for producing coccoliths, can maintains constant pH at the calcification site, regardless of CO2-induced changes in pH of the surrounding seawater. The authors of this study cultured a coccolithophore species (Ochrosphaera neapolitana), the most prolific ocean calcifiers in the ocean, under three pCO2-controlled... Continue Reading →

Global surface warming enhanced by weak Atlantic overturning circulation

Palaeoceanographic records indicate that abrupt cooling of Northern Hemisphere during deglacial periods are linked to weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). However, a  new article published in Nature argues that during a weak state of the AMOC, ocean heat is released to the atmosphere increasing the global surface temperature. This study further suggests that during... Continue Reading →

Complex organic molecules erupted from the ocean beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s moon, Enceladus

In a recent article published in Nature, NASA scientists analyzed mass spectrometry data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft to find concentrated and complex macromolecular organic material (with molecular masses above 200 atomic mass units) ejected from the ocean beneath the icy crust of Saturn's moon, Enceladus. This new finding suggests that a thin organic-rich film exists on top of the... Continue Reading →

June 14, 2018 – ENSO Update: El Niño Watch

NOAA CPC's current ENSO alert system status is El Nino Watch: ENSO-neutral is favored through Northern Hemisphere summer 2018, with the chance for El Niño increasing to 50% during fall, and ~65% during winter 2018-19. http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.shtml https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/enso/june-2018-enso-update-el-ni%C3%B1o-watch  

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