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 →

Ocean storage of anthropogenic CO2 from 1994 to 2007

A paper published in Science estimated the oceanic sink of the anthropogenic CO2 (Cant) over the period of 1994 to 2007 by comparing observations collected from global repeated hydrography cruises between 2003 and 2007 to those from the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) and Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) program during the 1980s and early 1990s. The... Continue Reading →

Potential breakup of marine stratocumulus clouds under greenhouse warming may speed up ocean warming

Stratocumulus clouds aloft the eastern subtropical Pacific and Atlantic Oceans cool the ocean by shading it from solar radiation. The stratocumulus cloud droplets absorb and emit longwave radiation very efficiently, while downwelling longwave flux above the cloud tops originates from high altitude and thus cooler atmospheric temperatures (becasue the free troposphere above the stratocumulus clouds is dry and has... Continue Reading →

Emergence of a shallow aragonite-undersaturated layer in the Southern Ocean

As the ocean absorbs anthropogenic CO2, its pH and carbonate ion concentration  decrease, thereby decreasing the ratio of the concentration of dissolved carbonate ions in the sea water to the concentration of dissolved ions in a saturated solution of aragonite (i.e., aragonite saturation state ΩAr). If ΩAr falls below the threshold ΩAr=1, ocean acidification makes it harder... Continue Reading →

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