Ocean ridges and climate models

The Greenland-Scotland Ridge looms like a great undersea barrier, stretching from East Greenland to Iceland and the Faroe Islands, and across to Scotland. The Denmark Strait is a critical checkpoint through which cold, fresher waters from northern seas flow across the ridge into the the main body of the North Atlantic Ocean. (Illustration by E. Paul Oberlander, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

From USGS, who is now apparently in the climate business, because mapping and earthquakes are sooo 20th century.

 

New Discoveries Improve Climate Models
Underwater Ridges Impact Ocean’s Flow of Warm Water

New discoveries on how underwater ridges impact the ocean’s circulation system will help improve climate projections.

An underwater ridge can trap the flow of cold, dense water at the bottom of the ocean. Without the ridge, deepwater can flow freely and speed up the ocean circulation pattern, which generally increases the flow of warm surface water.

Warm water on the ocean’s surface makes the formation of sea ice difficult. With less ice present to reflect the sun, surface water will absorb more sunlight and continue to warm.

U.S. Geological Survey scientists looked back 3 million years, to the mid-Pliocene warm period, and studied the influence of the North Atlantic Ocean’s Greenland-Scotland Ridge on surface water temperature.

“Sea-surface temperatures in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans were much warmer during the mid-Pliocene warm period than they are today, but climate models so far have been unable to fully understand and account for the cause of this large scale of warming,” said USGS scientist Marci Robinson. “Our research suggests that a lower height of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge during this geologic age was a contributor to the increase of poleward heat transport.”

“This is the first time the impact of a North Atlantic underwater ridge on the ocean circulation system was tested in a mid-Pliocene experiment,” said Robinson. “Understanding this process allows for more accurate predictions of factors such as ocean temperature and ice volume changes.”

Research was conducted on the mid-Pliocene because it is the most recent interval in the earth’s history in which global temperatures reached and remained at levels similar to those projected for the 21st century by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Therefore, it may be one of the closest analogs in helping to understand the earth’s current and future conditions.

The article was published in the journal, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, and can be viewed online. Any journalists who are not registered with this journal and cannot view this article can contact us to have a copy emailed to them.

This research contributes to the scientific foundation needed to make sound planning decisions in response to changes in climate and land use. To learn more, visit the Climate and Land Use Change website.

The USGS led this research through the Pliocene Research, Interpretation and Synoptic Mapping group. The primary collaborators in this research are the University of Leeds, University of Bristol and the British Geological Survey. More information about PRISM research is available online.

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62 thoughts on “Ocean ridges and climate models

  1. it is certainly possible that the ocean ridge could do this. The ocean currents drive climate.

    When the Drake passage started opening between South America and Antarctica 41 million years ago the Southern Ocean Current started to form. When the passage opened fully 34 million years ago, Antarctica froze over because the warm currents no longer reached Antarctica.

    Geography and the sun cause all real climate change. If one of those change, so does climate.

    Of course the USGS study also indicates that the ridge will continue to prevent a warm Arctic.

  2. “Research was conducted on the mid-Pliocene because it is the most recent interval in the earth’s history in which global temperatures reached and remained at levels similar to those projected for the 21st century by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

    That kinda puts a wooden stake through the heart of “unprecedented,” eh?

    I don’t want to hear it any more until something really is unprecedented.

  3. The US Navy has been mapping the ocean floors since they had nuclear submarines(1950’s), and probably before. They also know about the deep water currents. perhaps the USGS could talk to them and save a lot of Tax-money.

  4. I love “..scientists looked back 3M years”.

    Whence cometh the incredible conceit of these guys (and their modeller colleagues) that they think that they actually KNOW what was going on 3M years ago.

    In any case, their climate colleagues don’t know from one month to the next what the temperatures were even 5, 10 or 50 years ago (when we had thermometers) – they have to keep adjusting them…. With which particular date baseline temperature set are comparisons made?

  5. “The Middle Pliocene, which itself contains episodic climate fluctuations, takes place at the transition from relatively warm stable global climate conditions to the significant global cooling of the Pleistocene, just before the initiation of the late Plio-Pleistocene Northern Hemisphere major glaciations, approximately 2.7 million years ago (Leroy et al., 1998; Zachos et al., 2001; St. John and Krissek, 2002). The causes of the Mid-Pliocene optimum remain uncertain.”

    High resolution climate and vegetation simulations of the Mid-Pliocene, a model-data comparison over western Europe and the Mediterranean region
    A. Jost et al 2009 European Geosciences Union

    If we don’t know what happened then but we do know it was much warmer, how are we certain that in several hundred years we will be in the same position?

    Muppets.

  6. A better headline would be “New Discoveries add yet another set of parameters to complicate climate models even further.”

  7. I know a man who always completes a sentence with, “it’s God’s will”. Why do so many scientists now complete their papers with, “…because of man-made climate change”?
    As far as the study of climate goes: Epistemology = Mendacious Charlatans².
    Einstein wouldn’t mind, after all he did say: “…no sooner has the epistemologist, who is seeking a clear system, fought his way through to such a system, than he is inclined to interpret the thought-content of science in the sense of his system and to reject whatever does not fit into his system.”

  8. John Kehr says: February 4, 2011 at 2:15 am

    it is certainly possible that the ocean ridge could do this. The ocean currents drive climate.” and weather (wind) drives the ocean currents!!!

    One big gripe I have with this map is that it shows the “Feroe bank overflow” as being almost one and the same with the North Atlantic drift. The North Atlantic drift is part of a circulatory current in the Atlantic of which only a very small fraction goes up beyond the Shetland-Iceland line.

    It really annoys me that WUWT should present a picture perpetuating the myth that “turning of the gulf stream will turn the UK in a deep freeze”.

    1. The Gulf stream isn’t the North Atlantic drift**
    2. The North Atlantic drift isn’t the Arctic current**
    3a. The Arctic current is at risk from melting ice – but as it is a fraction of the heat of the North Atlantic drift, the bulk of the heat conveyer in the North Atlantic is totally unaffected by any risk to the Arctic Current (here labelled Faroe-bank overflow)
    4. AND THERE CERTAINLY WILL NEVER BE A TIME THE UK IS THE SAME TEMPERATURE AS THE WEST COAST OF THE ATLANTIC AT THE SAME LATITUDE (Screaming fit over) … because the reason we are warmer is because of the way the earth rotates and so the way the currents in the North Atlantic rotate … you will find exactly the same difference in East-West temperatures of the Pacific. The two will never be the same till the Earth stops rotating!
    5. I find it odd that people are only just starting to talk about banks preventing ocean currents. Cold water sinks – like land-surface water it tends to the lowest levels and so can’t get over a ridge. So anything like a new volcano appearing up from the ocean ridge in the Atlantic is going to affect the flow of currents. And the underwater topology around Iceland is constantly changing. Remember that (relatively speaking) some volcanoes can appear quickly and disappear just as quickly. (e.g. Jólnir). So next time we hear “the Gulf stream has switched off in the past” … ask whether changes in underwater landscape may be the reason!

    3b. The effect of the Arctic ocean is to destort the shape of the Atlantic drift circulatory current and this “kink” brings more heat further up the West coast of the UK. The current will be there irrespective of melting ice, but the path of that current will change. In addition, whilst the Arctic current is very small compared to the North Atlantic drift, it does cause warm water to get past the Shetland-Iceland gap (which it wouldn’t normally with simple Atlantic circulation). This obviously has a significant effect in the Iceland-Norway-Shetland area. But all these stupid pictures of the Thames freezing are straight out of Goebbels book of propaganda.

  9. Oh for goodness sake stop firkin about with this nonsense and build some properly sited climate monitoring stations that sceptics and Team AGW can both agree on.

  10. @pkatt

    Not sure why it’s a small fraction since the ocean ridges are volcanic! – very extensive, continually active and relatively well mapped.

    It may not be relevant to Marci Robinson’s ‘mid-Pliocene experiment’ (surely he means model!), but can anyone point me to figures / references for global ridge volcanic activity and emissions?

  11. “This is the first time the impact of a North Atlantic underwater ridge on the ocean circulation system was tested in a mid-Pliocene experiment,” said Robinson.

    Have they got a time machine over at the USGS?

    Hahahahahahahahahaha!

  12. ‘“Sea-surface temperatures in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans were much warmer during the mid-Pliocene warm period than they are today, but climate models so far have been unable to fully understand and account for the cause of this large scale of warming,” said USGS scientist [name omitted to prevent terminal embarrassment].’

    You know I hate to be critical but I have to ask “Do these people even attend college?” Apparently, this scientist not only talks to her computer and treats it as a colleague but uses it as the main source of her understanding of her science. Until now, the Warmista presented critics with only the elementary and predictable error of confusing their computers with the reality studied. But this scientist goes much further and confuses her computer with her own mind. Dear Scientist, no digital computer has ever understood anything and none ever will. The same goes for any and all software running on digital computers. How far does this scientist’s confusion go? Does she have “out of body” experiences? Probably.

  13. What a mess
    They tell people how accurate their climate computer games are…

    …and every week there’s some science claiming to make them better

  14. Geology affecting climate? Oh, the opportunity.

    IPCC will need one more chapter.
    CRU will need a bigger computer.
    NASA will need another satellite.
    NSF will need a bigger grant budget.

    …and when it’s found, in the end, that the warming is all well within the bounds of natural variability, ….

    FOX news will be blamed for reporting it.

  15. So, to save the planet, all we have to do is build some giant trenching machines and create some nice channels in the Scotland-Greenland ridge?

  16. “Warm water on the ocean’s surface makes the formation of sea ice difficult. With less ice present to reflect the sun, surface water will absorb more sunlight and continue to warm”.

    Does anyone know of any research that actually measures or even calculates this effect? It is s major plank in the AGW platform and yet, while plausible, it is not entirely obvious to me that it is true.

    The problems I have are:

    1) In the Arctic, even in summer, the angle of incidence (to the normal) is very high. Although the average albedo of water is low it is very reflective at these large angles in the absence of waves. The pictures I see of the ice, on the other hand, often show a very rough surface which looks like it might actually absorb quite well after multiple partial reflections. Furthermore the minimum ice level (when we see the biggest variance year to year) occurs well after mid summer such that the angle of incidence is larger still. I need to be convinced that the actual annual variation in absorption is that great.
    2) When I see pictures of the arctic ice I see numerous water pools sitting on the ice where the surface has melted. How does the albedo of these pools compare with the open sea? Unless the ice pool albedo is significantly higher than the sea albedo the difference in absorption between ice and sea, where the sun is strongest ( that is where pools are forming) might not be so great.
    3) Simplistically, if the surface of the Arctic sea in summer is about 10K warmer than the ice, the radiation density upwards from the sea will be about 14% greater. This assumes their albedos are the same. However the exact calculation will depend on the emissivity of these two in the infra red and I do not think this is easy to estimate. But it is possible that, even if there is more sea and that it does indeed absorb more UV it may be radiating more IR and thus may be cancelling out or even reversing the warming effect.

    I am not putting any of this forward as a hypothesis, since I have no idea how large these effects are. It is just that when I see something repeated many times and never see any data I begin to get twitchy. Can anyone point me to some good research to put my mind at rest?

  17. Since “Argo deployments began in 2000 and by November 2007 the array is 100% complete. “;

    http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/

    we have literally just beginning to measure Earth’s Thermohaline Circulation;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermohaline_circulation

    http://oceanmotion.org/html/impact/conveyor.htm

    http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Water/deep_ocean.html

    which is caused when “wind-driven surface currents (such as the Gulf Stream) head polewards from the equatorial Atlantic Ocean, cooling all the while and eventually sinking at high latitudes (forming North Atlantic Deep Water). This dense water then flows into the ocean basins. While the bulk of it upwells in the Southern Ocean, the oldest waters (with a transit time of around 1600 years) upwell in the North Pacific (Primeau, 2005).”

    In addition to wind, temperature and salinity, Earth’s rotational energy influences the Thermohaline Circulation, especially around Antarctica;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Conveyor_belt.svg

    which is also called the Antarctic Circumpolar Current;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_Circumpolar_Current

    and the Arctic:

    http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=12455&tid=441&cid=47170&ct=61&article=20727

    as well as Earth’s Gravity;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convection#Gravitational_or_buoyant_convection

    http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view_rec.php?id=205

    and the Gravity of the Sun and the Moon during the different phases of the Saros cycle;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saros_cycle

    We have 4 years of reasonable quality ocean temperature data on a cycle “with a transit time of around 1600 years”. At present, our capacity to predict changes in the Thermohaline Circulation is essentially nil.

    Furthermore, “One of the “pumps” that helps drive the ocean’s global circulation suddenly switched on again last winter for the first time this decade. The finding surprised scientists who had been wondering if global warming was inhibiting the pump and did not foresee any indications that it would turn back on.

    The “pump” in question is in the western North Atlantic Ocean, where pools of cold, dense water form in winter and sink beneath less-dense warmer waters. The sinking water feeds into the lower limb of a global system of currents often described as the Great Ocean Conveyor. To replace the down-flowing water, warm surface waters from the tropics are pulled northward along the Conveyor’s upper limb.”

    http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=12455&tid=282&cid=54347

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v2/n1/abs/ngeo382.html

    Based on our limited understanding of Earth’s climate system, any predictions about Earth’s climate system and the long term trajectory of its average temperature are, at best, educated guesses. We are still learning how to accurately measure Earth’s temperature, much less accurately predict it 50 – 100 years into the future. Those who claim to be able to accurately predict Earth’s average temperature decades into the future, are either deluding themselves, or lying.

  18. Lew Skannen says:
    February 4, 2011 at 2:56 am

    A better headline would be “New Discoveries add yet another set of parameters to complicate climate models even further.”

    And the better they modeled climate without taking this into account, the worse they really are.

  19. Stop the presses

    Tall barriers interfere with fluid flow……….
    apparantly the researcher has never left the basement long enough to stand in a down town area during a windy day.

  20. Can we have some real scientists in the USGS, please? These pretenders must go. Perhaps the article, in contrast to this “press release(?)” is real science, This is a new discovery that ocean ridges direct ocean currents and, perhaps (therefore?), changed ocean currents affect “global temperature”!?! Have they left these ridges and ocean currents out of their “climate models” to date? Do they imagine that changes in the positions of the plates, closing/opening of oceans, developing ridges/trenches might, just might, affect ocean circulation and, therefore, “global temperature”? Let’s not even talk about underwater volcanoes, which would be part of ridge development. When I eyeball ocean temperatures today, some of the warmest in each hemisphere appear to be over these “ridges”. But then I am not a scientist.

    Now that they have identified a ridge as the cause of lower “global temperature”, do they propose a massive tax-payer funded project to build higher ridges so that “global temperatures” do not “reach[ed] and remain[ed] at levels similar to those projected for the 21st century by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” If so, then we can be assured that this project would be part of their “sound planning decisions in response to changes in climate and land use?”

    (I will, must, stop. Like other readers I cannot get over my open-mouth astonishment that a so-called scientist has not communicated with those in other sciences, e.g., in geology, who have studied these changes in the Earth. They seem to be able to communicate only with their computers and their computers’ models.)

  21. If USGS really wanted to make a contribution to climate science perhaps they could peruse their maps of today with maps of 100 years ago and tell us just how much land has been lost to the rising oceans.

    Oh, hold on a minute, they wouldn’t want to do that would they……

  22. “Warm water on the ocean’s surface makes the formation of sea ice difficult. With less ice present to reflect the sun, surface water will absorb more sunlight and continue to warm.”

    The formation of sea ice is always dificult. ( It is as much dependent on air temperature as it is upon wind speed.) The cold water coming down the east coast of Greenland is less salty than normal Atlantic sea water, (melting multiyear sea ice pluss fresh water from Russian rivers )thus freezing at a higer temperature. Sea water only absorbs more sunlight when the sun is shining. For most of the year open sea water radiates more thermal energy than ice covered sea water. It is the gain or loss of thermal energy that is more important that ice area, extent, or thickness. We talk about the effect of the oceans on climate but seem to ignore the effect of open polar waters on the cooling of said oceans.
    I wonder if a cold water current stricking an under sea ridge would cause said current to ccreat an upwelling?

  23. Looks like another natural factor in climate that everyone already knew about beside climate scientists? Heh

  24. Regards from the Ocean Ridge Tennis Club – just north of Perth, Western Australia. We’ve been watching the unfolding climate for a number of years and were hoping that we were connected in some way. By the way, this part of the world has had a climate shift beginning around 1978 which has reduced rainfall by one third, and runoff by almost half. A real severe drought over here now.

  25. What is really new here, as far as I can see, is that due to geological activity, the depth of the GSR was larger some millions of years ago, which contributed to a different climate in the Nordic Seas then compared to today.

    However, the USGS scientists are left as amateurs in this article, since it states that new discoveries show that ocean ridges are important for ocean currents. Erh, we already knew that… And for us who model the Nordic Seas, it is nothing new that increasing the depth of the overflow sills also affects the inflow fluxes of AW into the Nordic Seas.

    And regarding climate models – if they want to better represent this in the models, there’s one easy way of doing that: increase the resolution! However, any climate modeller already knows this, of course, and the reason for not increasing the resolution to an adequate degree, is due to computational demands when doing long-term simulations. Nothing new under the sun, in other words.

  26. Another puzzle piece recognized. I didn’t read the paper or look at the bibliography but it seem to me learning about all this as an undergraduate in the 1960’s. Oh well, the more we learn the more we learn we don’t know.

  27. A year or two ago I was watching a TV program about the mid-ocean ridges etc. and the female scientist said that the mid-ocean ridge system of 37k-40k miles puts more heat into the oceans in 24 hours than all the heat input from the sun, man made influences etc. does in a year. I can’t remember the program, but is this a true statement? Or how accurate is the estimate?

  28. Theo Goodwin says:
    February 4, 2011 at 5:05 am
    “Apparently, this scientist not only talks to her computer and treats it as a colleague but uses it as the main source of her understanding of her science.”
    ___________________________

    Our friends at PETA want scientists to use computer models of animal physiology instead of doing live studies. That makes us the lab rats. Does anyone actually prefer to let their daughter be the test subject for new drugs or cosmetic formulations? The point is to discover things we don’t already know.

    GCMs would make us the sheep.

  29. “Our research suggests that a lower height of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge during this geologic age was a contributor to the increase of poleward heat transport.”

    With the ridge spreading 20-40 mm now, how do they know the height of the ridges 3 million years ago?

  30. It is obvious many in government elected office are proponents of climate change and the USGS is a government agency.
    On Google there is a climate change working group between the US and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam since 2008 involving the USGS.
    Scrounging further through Google there is USGS circular 1309 Facing Tomorrow’s Challenges—U.S. Geological Survey Science in the Decade 2007–2017 By U.S. Geological Survey
    In the executive summary they state “The U.S. Climate Change Science Program predicts that the next few decades will see rapid changes in the Nation’s and the Earth’s environment”.
    In about USGS under Our Programs they state “our leaders need reliable scientific information to guide their decisions”. That is true.

    The question is, are our leaders getting unbiased scientific information or information predetermined by request to support legislation. Are tax dollars being used in a conflict of interest?
    And of course government agencies get their funding from some of those same politicians that support climate change legislation.

  31. “U.S. Geological Survey scientists looked back 3 million years, to the mid-Pliocene warm period, and studied the influence of the North Atlantic Ocean’s Greenland-Scotland Ridge on surface water temperature.”

    Er, at about 2″/year of sea floor spreading, would not the geography have changed a bit and the currents altered? 6 million inches earlier is about 95 miles and the ridge in question may not even have been there.

    And, of course, we have sea level variations which would scotch the whole model.

  32. Test driving some of the features from the “Test” page and I hope I don’t cost you any extra effort. Note to all, the Test page is worth a look, defines comment limits but doesn’t contain a lot of Anthony’s pet (ref. to your last post) peeves. See “Test” on the home page header next to “Resources”.

    From USGS, who is now apparently in the climate business, because mapping and earthquakes are sooo 20th century.

    LOL, I have to agree but if you take a look at this amazing “INTERNATIONAL BATHYMETRIC CHART OF THE ARCTIC OCEAN” you can see why the USGS is so sexed to explain some of the geologic formations.

    I’d say they should go for it, I’d love to know their opinion about the forces and events necessary to create the Abyssal Plains and Ridges on the Ocean floor.

    It’s a great footprint of history without any explanation I’ve ever seen.

    Who cares if their using the Climate meme to explore but one would think they could just as easily justify the funding if they simply inspired us with the real benefit?

  33. John from CA says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    February 4, 2011 at 10:32 am

    :(

    not sure where all the italics came from but I’ll be more careful next time. I also included a stupid error, their s/b they’re in the last para.

    [Reply: Thanks, fixed. It's a WordPress glitch that sometimes happens. ~dbs, mod.]

  34. John from CA says:
    February 4, 2011 at 10:38 am

    [Reply: Thanks, fixed. It's a WordPress glitch that sometimes happens. ~dbs, mod.]
    =======

    The pet peeves from the doog post should be integrated on the Test page and the Test page perhaps renamed to something more specific to eliminate the errors for mod.

    I’d be happy to help with this and can extend the special character set to make it easier for the community. Let me know if you’d like the input.

    My favorite site as I multitask all day and half the night.

    Best and thanks!!!
    John

  35. vukcevic says:

    “I’ve done some research into this area. The map is indeed wrong.”

    Just to pick on some details:
    I’ve also done some reasearch into some of this area. Your map is still wrong (while the Rudels map is a good one):
    The Barents Sea branch of the Atlantic inflow to the Arctic cools within the Barents Sea and not within the Arctic Ocean, and it is considerably colder than the Fram Strait branch as they meet north of the St. Anna Trough.

    Regards,
    Vidar

  36. “This is the first time the impact of a North Atlantic underwater ridge on the ocean circulation system was tested in a mid-Pliocene experiment,”

    Would all scientists everywhere quit calling computer model runs “Experiments”

    Experiments are when you test something in the real world.

    Running a computer model is just saying, “If my model is correct, what would happen?” That is forming a hypothesis which might be testable. It is NOT the test itself.

  37. From USGS:-

    “An underwater ridge can trap the flow of cold, dense water
    “at the bottom of the ocean.
    “Without the ridge,
    “deepwater can flow freely and
    “speed up the ocean circulation pattern,
    “which generally
    “increases the flow of warm surface water.

    So, it appears to me that we have this large mass of cold, dense water at the bottom of the ocean, presumably with warm water freely flowing on top.
    Then, God removes the ridge.
    Wouldn’t the immediate effect of that be to add cold, dense water to warm (perhaps not-so-dense) water?

    Now, if I try that in a glass, the warm water on top becomes cooler, and the water at the bottom becomes warmer.
    So my attempt to replicate the experiment failed,
    instead of “increasing the flow of warm water”,
    I actually increased the flow of cold water.

    Could someone please tell me how I went wrong?

  38. “U.S. Geological Survey scientists looked back 3 million years, to the mid-Pliocene warm period, and studied the influence of the North Atlantic Ocean’s Greenland-Scotland Ridge on surface water temperature.”

    Someone help me, I know that 3mm years is a blink of the eye geologically, but how do we know what ocean ridge contours have been from 3mm years ago to now? Could they have changed much over that period?

  39. Peter Melia:

    If more dense water leaves the Arctic Mediterranean, continuity requires that more water will also enter the Arctic Mediterranean, and the only way to do that, is to import more Atlantic Water. But then we are of course back to the debate on what drives the Atlantic-Arctic exchanges: Is it driven by thermohaline circulation or is it wind-driven? (most probably both)

  40. Vidar says:
    February 4, 2011 at 11:41 am
    …………….
    I was only referring to the volume (as a reference to the original post ‘One big gripe I have with this map is that it shows the “Feroe bank overflow” as being almost one and the same with the North Atlantic drift.‘), in which case I go by this one:

  41. Wait a minute. The science is already settled. It’s too late to be adding stuff! What if it conflicts with the AGW bible?

  42. vukcevic:

    Sure, I was just picking on a detail in your map. I agree with the point you made.

    Regards,
    Vidar

  43. Isn’t it interesting that CAGW was settled science way back in 1990, before the AMO, the PDO and so many other important elements of climate were discovered?

    Pro-AGW scientists told everybody back then that everything they needed to know was known, and would anybody who disagrees please don’t let the door hit you in the arse as you exit stage left?

    How you can have settled science and be correct, and then LATER discover other stuff – it really doesn’t make sense. If the science is settled, then there are no more factors out there in the gloaming – you know them all.

    Over and over again, new stuff comes up. And it just gets patched into AGW like they knew it all along.

    WTF?

  44. Warm water on the ocean’s surface makes the formation of sea ice difficult. With less ice present to reflect the sun, surface water will absorb more sunlight and continue to warm.

    NO!
    The water in those areas doesn’t continue to warm – it only gets cold slower. This is CO2 in the atmosphere redux. Slowing cooling down is not “warming”.

  45. Inasmuch as abyssal currents don’t affect the surface thermodynamically, the whole idea of the depth of an ocean ridge controlling climate is very far-fetched. But it goes to show what sort of irrelevant paleo-speculation can attract funding in post-normal science simply by claiming a connection to climate.

  46. So, with all Govt. Science Agencies studying Climate Modeling, who’s watching the store?
    Or, better yet, is there a Govt. Science Agency that is NOT studying Climate Modeling?

  47. “Research was conducted on the mid-Pliocene because it is the most recent interval in the earth’s history in which global temperatures reached and remained at levels similar to those projected for the 21st century by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Therefore, it may be one of the closest analogs in helping to understand the earth’s current and future conditions.”

    Prognosis for future conditions based on Pliocene conditions looks good – should have continued rise of modern mammals, evolutionary improvements in brain, limbs, and teeth – which will bring about expansion of mammals as a group. Marine invertabrates and plants were barely distinguishable from today’s, so no worries there. (-;

  48. Did they remember to model in continental uplift which produced drier climates? How were the clouds back then?

    As a matter of fact, how are the clouds working in their models now? ha ha

  49. “Research was conducted on the mid-Pliocene because it is the most recent interval in the earth’s history in which global temperatures reached and remained at levels similar to those projected for the 21st century by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Therefore, it may be one of the closest analogs in helping to understand the earth’s current and future conditions.”
    ============

    First comment: Apparently you have analogs, seeing as I paid for them, please produce them.
    Second comment: What is an analog?.
    Third comment: What is our current understanding of the Earth?.*
    *(be careful how you answer this one, everyone is watching).

  50. “how underwater ridges impact the ocean’s circulation system”

    How underwater ridges affect the ocean’s circulation system isn’t interesting enough?

  51. sky says: February 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm
    Inasmuch as abyssal currents don’t affect the surface thermodynamically, the whole idea of the depth of an ocean ridge controlling climate is very far-fetched.

    I would disagree. Greenland – Scotland ridge is fundamental to the ‘warm-cold water ratio’ flow in the Arctic-Atlantic connection, as you can see here

  52. jknapp says:
    February 4, 2011 at 11:48 am
    “This is the first time the impact of a North Atlantic underwater ridge on the ocean circulation system was tested in a mid-Pliocene experiment,”

    Would all scientists everywhere quit calling computer model runs “Experiments”

    My sediments exactly.

  53. *****
    Mike Haseler says:
    February 4, 2011 at 3:57 am

    It really annoys me that WUWT should present a picture perpetuating the myth that “turning of the gulf stream will turn the UK in a deep freeze”.
    *****

    True, the circular motion of the Atlantic currents will continue. But keep in mind that a mere 20k yrs ago, Britain was covered in glaciers & surrounded by sea-ice. Something caused a deep freeze.

    IMO during glacial periods the north edge of the N Atlantic loop may have migrated southward, meeting S Europe & practically all the flow turning south along NW Africa. Heat movement into the Arctic would have been greatly diminished. Why that would happen & if it was a cause or effect, I’m not sure.

  54. vukcevic says:
    February 5, 2011 at 4:41 am

    I’m well aware of the importance of the ridge to the warm/cold ratio at considerable depth. This has precious little thermodynamic influence, however, on surface climate. The snail’s pace effects of THC diffuse greatly over time at depth and are not the coherent “conveyor belt” player that many with little oceanographic knowledge make it out to be.

  55. In the earliest physical modeling I ever engaged in I always accounted for all the cracks and crevices, nooks and crannies, that’d screw with the flow of motion of the fluidic body.

    OMFG, but was I before my time? :p

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