Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UAB Climatologists discovers deep-sea secret

04.04.2005


Climate changes in the northern and southern hemispheres are linked by a phenomenon by which the oceans react to changes on either side of the planet. A research team from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Cardiff University has shown for the first time that ocean circulation in the southern hemisphere has, in the past, adapted to sudden changes in the north. The research published today in Science will enable more accurate forecasts to be made on how the oceans will react to climate change.



The scientists have observed that at several periods in history when the temperature has increased in the northern hemisphere, the southern hemisphere has entered a cooling period, which creates a decrease in the amount of deep water transported to the Atlantic Ocean from the south. The opposite effect also took place: when the climate cooled in the North Atlantic, the southern hemisphere entered a warmer period, causing water to be transported northwards.

These mechanisms linking the two hemispheres had already been observed in computer climate simulations, but this is the first time they have been confirmed with detailed data obtained from scientific experiments using weather records from the past. This is the first evidence showing that waters in the southern hemisphere play an active role in sudden climate changes.


Today’s climate in Europe and North America is greatly influenced by the gulf stream. This ocean current carries warm water from the Gulf of Mexico northwards along the Florida coast, eastwards across the Atlantic and southwards along the west coast of Europe, bringing a mild climate. The strength of the current is dependent on the salinity of the water travelling from the south. If the salinity decreases, the current weakens. Scientists predict that global warming could cause part of the Greenland ice sheet to melt, giving rise to increased levels of freshwater in the Atlantic Ocean. This could reduce the strength of the gulf stream, creating a cooler, dryer climate in Europe and North America.

However, according to the authors of this latest study, the Atlantic Ocean could already be adapting to the changes brought about by global warming in the same way as it adapted to climate changes in the past. The waters in the southern hemisphere are less salty than those in the northern hemisphere, and this freshwater in the south sinks to the ocean floor and is transported to the rest of the Atlantic, reducing the salinity of the North Atlantic Ocean and strength of the gulf stream. Nevertheless, the researchers have observed a decrease in the volume of freshwater sinking to the floor of the South Atlantic Ocean. According to Rainer Zahn, "although we don’t know where global warming will take us, this could be a sign that the oceans are already adapting to the changes".

Octavi López Coronado | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uab.es/uabdivulga/eng

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>