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 →

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 →

Increasing water temperature tied to rapid sea level rise along the U.S. East Coast during 2010-2015

In a new article accepted for publication in the Geophysical Research Letters, Ricardo Domingues (CIMAS University of Miami & NOAA/AOML) and his coauthors explored  the observed rapid sea level rise along the U.S. East Coasts during 2010-2015, which is linked to extensive flooding and “sunny day” flooding (or nuisance flooding) events in large urban areas including... Continue Reading →

Antarctic meltwater slows down global warming by more than a decade

A new study published in Nature used climate models to explore the effects of meltwater from the Antarctic ice sheets and ice shelves on global surface temperature under a warming climate. The study found that the increasing meltwater decreases the surface salinity of the Southern Ocean and thus increases the near-surface stratification, which in turn... 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 →

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 →

Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in 2070, under low and high emissions scenarios

A team of experts in biology, oceanography, glaciology, geophysics, climate science and policy, analyzed the potential impacts of two different future scenarios of carbon emissions, RCP2.6 (low emission & strong action) and RCP 8.5 (high emission & weak action), on Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The team assessed key systems including  global average air temperature; Antarctic contribution... Continue Reading →

Antarctic ice sheet lost 2,720 ± 1,390 billion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017

A team of scientists leading the ice sheet mass balance inter-comparison exercise (IMBIE) combined satellite observations of the Antarctic ice sheet, its changing volume, flow and gravitational attraction with modelling of its surface mass balance from 1992 to 2017.  Their report, recently published in Nature, showed that the Antarctic ice sheet lost 2,720 ± 1,390 billion tonnes of... Continue Reading →

Antarctic ice shelf disintegration triggered by sea ice loss and ocean swell

Understanding the causes of recent catastrophic ice shelf disintegrations is a crucial step towards improving coupled models of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and predicting its future state and contribution to sea-level rise. An overlooked climate-related causal factor is regional sea ice loss. Here we show that for the disintegration events observed (the collapse of the... Continue Reading →

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