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 Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>