Antarctic volcanic eruption linked to the onset of the most rapid global climate change during the end of the last ice age

Cold and dry glacial-state climate conditions persisted in the Southern Hemisphere until approximately 17.7 ka, when paleoclimate records show a largely unexplained sharp, nearly synchronous acceleration in deglaciation. Detailed measurements in Antarctic ice cores document exactly at that time a unique, ∼192-y series of massive halogen-rich volcanic eruptions geochemically attributed to Mount Takahe in West... Continue Reading →

Meridional overturning circulation conveys fast acidification to the deep Atlantic Ocean posing a severe threat to cold-water coral habitats.

Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are increasing the acidity of the oceans and reducing carbonate-ion concentrations, making it difficult for corals to maintain their calcium carbonate skeletons. This paper reports a roughly 40 per cent reduction in the transport of carbonate ions to the deep North Atlantic ocean since preindustrial times, with implications for cold-water... Continue Reading →

Net retreat of Antarctic glacier grounding lines

Grounding lines are a key indicator of ice-sheet instability, because changes in their position reflect imbalance with the surrounding ocean and affect the flow of inland ice. Although the grounding lines of several Antarctic glaciers have retreated rapidly due to ocean-driven melting, records are too scarce to assess the scale of the imbalance. Here, we... 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 →

Significant changes in the nutrient, carbon, and trace metal balances of the Arctic Ocean are underway

Rising temperatures in the Arctic Ocean region are responsible for changes such as reduced ice cover, permafrost thawing, and increased river discharge, which, together, alter nutrient and carbon cycles over the vast Arctic continental shelf. We show that the concentration of radium-228, sourced to seawater through sediment-water exchange processes, has increased substantially in surface waters... 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 →

Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes

Arctic amplification (AA) – the observed enhanced warming in high northern latitudes relative to the northern hemisphere – is evident in lower-tropospheric temperatures and in 1000-to-500 hPa thicknesses. Daily fields of 500 hPa heights from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Reanalysis are analyzed over N. America and the N. Atlantic to assess changes in north-south (Rossby)... Continue Reading →

Algae drive enhanced darkening of bare ice on the Greenland ice sheet

Melting of the Greenland ice sheet is enhanced by surface darkening caused by various impurities. We quantified the contribution of dark pigment-producing algae to the ice sheet surface darkening, based on field measurements in the southwestern part of the ice sheet during the 2014 melt season. Our analysis reveals that the impact of algae on... Continue Reading →

Concerns for ozone recovery

This new paper published in Science suggests that as the tropical oceans get warmer, ocean emissions of methyl bromide (CH3Br) and other short-lived ozone-depleting substances will increase, slowing down the ongoing ozone recovery. Image credit: Scientific assessment of ozone depletion 2014 http://science.sciencemag.org/content/358/6368/1257 https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/research/themes/o3/ http://science.sciencemag.org/content/353/6296/269  

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