Ocean carbon sink is dictated by natural variability on decadal time scales

Data-based estimates show that the global oceanic carbon flux has increased rapidly since around 2000 with little decadal variability during 1992-1999 (Rödenbeck et al., 2015). An article published in Geophysical Research Letters (Li and Ilyina, 2017) used large ensemble climate model simulations to show that the observed increase is much faster than simulated by their biogeochemical process model. By... Continue Reading →

Deglacial atmospheric CO2 increase caused by enhanced abyssal circulations in the Pacific Ocean

Paleo records indicate that during the last deglaciation period (19,000–9,000 years ago) atmospheric CO2 level increased by about 80 ppm. A new study published in Nature Geoscience analysed neodymium (Nd) isotope data in North Pacific sediment cores to find an increase in 14C age of North Pacific subsurface waters sourced from Antarctica indicating an enhanced abyssal overturning... Continue Reading →

Increasing role of the North Atlantic in anthropogenic ocean heat uptake

Anthropogenic aerosols preferentially cool the Northern Hemisphere, and the effect on surface heat flux into the North Atlantic opposes the greenhouse gas (GHG) effect. However, aerosols are projected to decline in the near future, reinforcing the greenhouse effect on the North Atlantic heat uptake. As a result, the surface uptake of anthropogenic heat by the... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

Hurricane Harvey links to ocean heat content and climate change adaptation

While hurricanes occur naturally, human‐caused climate change is supercharging them and exacerbating the risk of major damage. Here, using ocean and atmosphere observations, we demonstrate links between increased upper ocean heat content due to global warming with the extreme rainfalls from recent hurricanes. Hurricane Harvey provides an excellent case study as it was isolated in... Continue Reading →

Ocean dynamics plays a key role in driving the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO)

The recently proposed atmosphere-forced thermodynamics mechanism of the AMO challenged the well-known ocean dynamics mechanism, and thus it is important to identify a key feature associated with the AMO that can be used to distinguish between the two mechanisms. In this study, the spatial structure of AMO is analyzed and compared between the observations and... Continue Reading →

Is AMOC slowing down?

A recent article appeared in Nature  suggested that the AMOC has been very weak during the past 150 years since the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA) , and that enhanced freshwater fluxes from the Arctic and Nordic seas towards the end of the LIA weakened Labrador Sea convection and thus the AMOC. They... Continue Reading →

Recent wind-driven change in subantarctic mode water and its impact on ocean heat storage

The subduction and export of Subantarctic Mode Water (SAMW) supplies the upper limb of the overturning circulation and makes an important contribution to global heat, freshwater, carbon and nutrient budgets. Upper ocean heat content has increased since 2006, helping to explain the so-called global warming hiatus between 1998 and 2014, with much of the ocean... Continue Reading →

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