K.K. Tung explains global warming slowdown and acceleration

MCRN node leader Ka-Kit Tung and Xianyao Chen (University of Washington and Ocean University of China) have just published "Varying planetary heat sink led to global-warming slowdown and acceleration," in the latest issue of Science magazine.

Abstract: A vacillating global heat sink at intermediate ocean depths is associated with different climate regimes of surface warming under anthropogenic forcing: The latter part of the 20th century saw rapid global warming as more heat stayed near the surface. In the 21st century, surface warming slowed as more heat moved into deeper oceans. In situ and reanalyzed data are used to trace the pathways of ocean heat uptake. In addition to the shallow La Niña–like patterns in the Pacific that were the previous focus, we found that the slowdown is mainly caused by heat transported to deeper layers in the Atlantic and the Southern oceans, initiated by a recurrent salinity anomaly in the subpolar North Atlantic. Cooling periods associated with the latter deeper heat-sequestration mechanism historically lasted 20 to 35 years.

See full article:   Science 22, August 2014: Vol. 345 no. 6199 pp. 897-903, DOI: 10.1126/science.1254937

 

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N.B. Ka-Kit presented findings at 2014 MCRN Annual Meeting.

 

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