North Atlantic Ocean gyre circulation dictates the interannual sea level variability along the U.S. Southeast and Gulf Coasts

Interannual and longer time-scale sea level changes are relatively small amplitude. However,  they can provide background conditions favorable for the occurrence of extreme sea levels that represent a threat for coastal communities, especially in low-lying and flood-vulnerable regions. A new study accepted in Geophysical Research Letters identified the dominant mode of the ocean gyre-scale sea surface height... Continue Reading →

Enhanced carbon sequestration by the North Atlantic Ocean during the Last Glacial Maximum

According to Redfield stoichiometry, marine organisms incorporate and release PO4 and Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) in a relatively fixed proportion. Additionally, PO4 in the ocean is not affected by air-sea exchange. Therefore, PO4 and DIC in the ocean can be used to estimate biology-driven versus air-sea flux-driven oceanic DIC redistributions. Applying this method to sediment core data, a new paper... Continue Reading →

Extreme U.S. Great Plains heat waves are linked to East Asian Monsoon

Heat waves are the leading weather‐related cause of death in the U.S. For example, the most recent U.S. extreme heat waves that occurred over the Great Plains in 2011 and 2012 caused 362 deaths. These events are unusual and largely unpredictable beyond the synoptic time scale. However, their number and severity have increased and are projected... Continue Reading →

Cold versus warm water routes for the upper limb of the South Atlantic MOC

The surface water in the South Atlantic (σ2 < 35.7) is known to originate largely from the Indian Ocean via the Agulhas leakage (e.g., Beal et al., 2011; Gordon, 1986). It is carried northward below the surface mixed layer and brought to the surface via the equatorial Atlantic upwelling. Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) that forms... Continue Reading →

Recent intensification of Amazonian flooding extremes is linked to the tropical Atlantic warming and tropical Pacific cooling

The Amazonian River basin hosts the one of the major global deep tropical convective systems, and thus drives the global Hadley and Walker circulations and the global hydrological cycle. Changes in the water cycle and deep convection activity in this region are, however, largely affected by remote oceans, especially the tropical Pacific, via the Walker circulation.... Continue Reading →

Deep Indo-Pacific Oceans are still in the Little Ice Age

The Little Ice Age (LIA) is a period of cold global average surface temperatures from around 1600 to 1850, following the Medieval Warm Period (950 ~ 1250). A new study published in Science suggested that since the ocean adjusts to the surface thermal anomalies with the time scales of 100 ~ 1,000 years, some parts of the... Continue Reading →

El Nino-induced suppression of Atlantic ITCZ contributes to the spring warming of the tropical North Atlantic

It is a well-known phenomenon that the Tropical North Atlantic (TNA) warms in boreal spring and early summer (April – June) following El Nino peaks in boreal winter (Enfield and Mayer, 1997). This involves formation of the so-called extratropical atmospheric stationary Rossby wave trains from the tropical Pacific (e.g., Lee et al., 2008). A new paper published... Continue Reading →

Increasing frequency of North American winter extremes caused by the eastward shift of the North Pacific Oscillation

The North Pacific Oscillation (NPO) is a dipole oscillation of the sea level pressure (or the atmospheric mass) between the subpolar low and subtropical high over the North Pacific Ocean. A study published in Nature Climate Change showed that the center of the NPO shifted eastward during the recent decades (1995-2014), and thus increased the frequency of... Continue Reading →

Glacial weakening of the AMOC and the associated increase in deep ocean carbon deposit

During the mid-Pleistocene between 1,250 and 700 kyr ago (ka), Earth’s climate oscillated between warmer interglacial periods and cooler glacial periods with reduced and expanded polar ice sheets, respectively. Paleo records indicate that the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC)  was relatively weaker during glacial periods likely due to reduced evaporation and increased freshwater input from glaciers to the... Continue Reading →

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