Climate change scares the fish

From FIS – Worldnews and the warming omnipotence department comes this:

Climate change darkens water, drives fish away 
Norwegian coastal waters are darkening due to changes in weather and climate, damaging optical conditions for marine animals.

Marine biologist Dag L Aksnes of the University of Bergen has analysed the impacts of these declining optical conditions with some funding from the Research Council of Norway’s research programme on the Oceans and Coastal Areas (HAVKYST). He explained that this occurs when coloured matter from rivers and lakes flows into the sea and mixes with salt water.

“This fresh water contains far more coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM) than marine water, so our coastal waters are darkening,” explains Aksnes, the Research Cuncil reports.

Aksnes and his colleagues have been studying the Lurefjorden and Masfjorden fjords in northern Hordaland county on Norway’s western coast for many years.

While the fjords are similar and close to each other, Masfjorden contains far more seawater than Lurefjorden, which contains lower-salinity coastal water all the way down to its seabed. Although Masfjorden still has an ecosystem dominated by fish, the darker Lurefjorden has a greater abundance of the jellyfish Periphylla periphylla.

“Periphylla periphylla is a very light-sensitive jellyfish that thrives best in the world’s very deep marine waters,” continued Aksnes. “But the water in Lurefjorden has now become so murky and dark that it is probably helpingthis jellyfish to thrive. At the same time, the fjord has become less hospitable as a habitat for important fish species.”

Visibility conditions at Lurefjorden have made it more difficult for fish to find their prey, but not for the blindjellyfish. The jellyfish now have virtually no competition for the abundant prey organisms, Aksnes elaborated.

He highlighted that there is a clear correlation between poorer conditions for fish, the increase in jellyfish and the lasting changes in light conditions in the country’s coastal waters.

These conditions also affect algal photosynthesis and the production of organic compounds – which is why the researchers believe that light conditions impact most organisms.

The project demonstrates that changes normally linked to eutrophication (nutrient pollution) and human emissions of nutrients can also cause the water to become darker, reducing the abundance of attached algae such as seaweed and kelp while fueling the growth of planktonic algae.

Meanwhile, nutrient concentration climbs and oxygen saturation in the marine layers falls.
“More precipitation means that more murky fresh water mixes with the coastal water, making it less saline and murkier,” explained Aksnes.
“Furthermore, studies done at the University of Oslo indicate that increased precipitation and rising temperatures lead to changes in vegetation on land, which in turn increases the concentration of CDOM in the fresh water that mixes with the coastal water. We don’t know yet whether this leads to undesired changes in our coastal ecosystems, but if so, it will be hard to reverse,” the professor added.

http://www.fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?monthyear=&day=20&id=56962&l=e&special=&ndb=1%20target=

h/t to Marc Morano of ClimateDepot.com

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53 Responses to Climate change scares the fish

  1. Mike Bromley the Kurd says:

    So, ya dumb fish, swim a little closer to the light source, why dontcha.

  2. Mark Luedtke says:

    If this isn’t a farce, it should have been. Nicely done.

  3. Mark and two Cats says:

    codswallop

  4. We don’t know yet whether this leads to undesired changes in our coastal ecosystems

    Just about sums it up!! And all this time I thought it was nutrient run-off from agriculture causing these problem.

    Que Sera, Sera

    Andi

  5. Jeff L says:

    “We don’t know yet whether this leads to undesired changes in our coastal ecosystems, but if so, it will be hard to reverse”

    It’s always bad, isn’t it ? Why do they even bother? A generic “it’s worse than we thought” would suffice as commentary for pretty much anything, wouldn’t t? If they don’t know if the changes are desirable or not, as indicated by this statement, why do they even bother commenting & why do they put a negative spin on it? Of course, these are rhetorical questions as the answer is obvious – because this is how they get funding for additional research. The fact that they apparently don’t understand that we can all see through this or that they think we re too stupid to see this is quite amusing to me. Message to researchers : we aren’t that dumb & we can see through all of this !

  6. Seems like a natural feedback loop.

  7. pat says:

    as this thread is sure to provide some laughs, here’s another:

    MUST LISTEN TO THE RATIONALISATION FOR THE SECRECY, AND NOTE THE NERVOUS LAUGHS. I’VE BEEN SEARCHING FOR THIS INFO FOR DAYS:

    AUDIO 4mins: KQED California: California Establishes First Carbon Trading Price
    KQED Science Editor Craig Miller sat down with KQED’s Tara Siler about California’s counter-attack on climate change and about the auction and why it took nearly a week for the results to be released.
    http://www.kqed.org/news/story/2012/11/19/111342/california_establishes_first_carbon_trading_price?category=bay+area

    **article doesn’t give a clue what agency Clegern represents, but at least there’s more detail because it is written by a local staff writer:

    19 Nov: San Gabriel Valley Tribune: staff writer, Andrew Edwards: California announces results of first cap-and-trade auction
    California businesses subjected to the nation’s only cap-and-trade policy were able to buy emissions credits at pennies above the minimum price when the state held its inaugural auction for emissions allowances last week…
    The auction, held Wednesday, ended with affected industries purchasing greenhouse gas emissions allowances at a price of $10.09.
    That amount is nine cents above the minimum price set before the California Air Resources Board held the auction…
    Clegern (**agency spokesman Dave Clegern) said cap-and-trade can be expected to not only reduce emissions, but also encourage venture capitalists to invest in firms producing anti-pollution technology, such as fuel cell vehicles or autos running on an electrical charge.
    Influential industry groups, however, point out that cap-and-trade still raises the cost of doing business in California and continue to oppose the program.
    “California employers paid hundreds of millions of dollars for carbon credits during the first cap and trade auction last week. Instead of hiring workers, expanding production, or investing in new carbon-reducing equipment, these auction dollars will be distributed by government for other purposes,” Dorothy Rothrock, vice president of the California Manufacturers & Technology Association said in a statement…
    http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_22029778/california-announces-results-first-cap-and-trade-auction

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  8. pat says:

    adding to the comedy:

    Grand Island Independent: AP: California sells out of first pollution permits
    The effort to curtail carbon emissions involved the sale of 23.1 million permits _ each allowing for the release of one ton of carbon _ for $10.09 apiece, the California Air Resources Board said…
    The board would not divulge specific figures on how many permits were bought by individual polluters covered under newly instituted caps on carbon emissions. The board does not comment on bidding activity to protect each polluter’s strategy regarding use of the carbon market, Nichols said.
    However, a sampling of the more than 300 companies that are covered include utilities such as Pacific Gas & Electric Co., petroleum refiners such as Phillips 66 Co. and even food processing companies such as Saputo Cheese USA Inc.
    Blair Jones, a spokesman for Pacific Gas & Electric, said the company is “satisfied with the process based on what we’ve observed.” He said he couldn’t comment on whether PG&E participated in the auction due to restrictions in the cap and trade regulations…
    Robert Day, a partner at Boston-based clean tech investment firm Black Coral Capital, said the high number of bids showed that California’s carbon market is legitimate.
    ***“As an investor, I take a lot of comfort that this was for real, was done right and will continue into the future,” Day said…
    http://www.theindependent.com/news/national/calif-officials-call-carbon-auction-a-success/article_e31246e1-5d51-537a-8f8e-29d52faf13a8.html

    compare:

    China regulator warns against ETS speculation: paper
    BEIJING, Nov 19 (Reuters Point Carbon) – A senior official at China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said this weekend financial investors should stay out of the country’s emerging emissions trading markets to avoid speculation in early years, a local newspaper said…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2065469?&ref=searchlist

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  9. richardK says:

    My uncle Ellie was the last white guy to pick lettuce in the central valley of California in the 60’s. My favorite statement from him was “sometimes I think and then again I don’t know”. Loved and still love that guy.

  10. WillR says:

    Wayne Delbeke says:
    November 19, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Seems like a natural feedback loop.

    Indeed it is….

    a)Horrible circumstances found — justifying more grants.
    b) Grants fund research that find circumstances even worse than before —
    c) Leading to another grant application — which finds a)

    Terrible indeed. The only solution is to de-fund all climate research — so we can go peacefully if and when something happens.

  11. RockyRoad says:

    Their whole premise sounds a bit fishy to me. (And lest you think my comment is completely devoid of content, you should read what these researchers have to say.)

  12. Instead of wasting money on more “scientific research”, why don’t we spend it on providing the fish with infra red goggles?

  13. Billy says:

    “But the water in Lurefjorden has now become so murky and dark that it is probably helpingthis jellyfish to thrive. At the same time, the fjord has become less hospitable as a habitat for important fish species.”
    ——————————
    Is that important like “Real Climate Scientists” and Algore?
    Seriously, fish are wards of the state. If the fish have trouble seeing their food Norway’s fishery FEMA can issue them with flashlights and generators, Coke and organic McHappy meals.

  14. Eyal Porat says:

    Had a quick look at historical temp in that area from the 1930’s (http://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Hordaland/Bergen/Bergen/climate.month12.html).
    No significant change.
    In some months the average was about the same as the 1940’s, some parts a bit less and most of the months about the same.
    Very distinct peak in mid 2000’s and since then there is a decline(!).
    In short, I have no idea where these people come up with these conclusions.

  15. Chris @NJ_Snow_Fan says:

    “We don’t know yet whether this leads to undesired changes in our coastal ecosystems, but if so, it will be hard to reverse,” the professor added”
    This sort of thing has been going on for a long time in NY/NJ area waters. Dumping sewage into water after most heavy rain events is one of largest problems and miss application of fertilizers on non target areas like roads,walks and driveways. Around 1990 a red tide wiped out most of the fish in Raritan bay and the fishing has never been the same since then. The fish that are around now in NY/NJ are now seem to be immune to Dixon from the Hudson river and have evolved to swim in human waste. Improves the flavor of the fish and fishing captains say we all eat &#^@# in our lives so it is ok. No Me. NJ/NY dumped over 1 billion gallons of untreated sewage DAILY into NY/NJ water ways after Hurricane Sandy knocked out power and back up systems at sewage treatment plants all along coast line.
    http://mobile.nj.com/advnj/db_/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=btpIGlYN&full=true#display

  16. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    The jellyfish now have virtually no competition for the abundant prey organisms, Aksnes elaborated.

    Do we need jellyfish?

    I keep hearing about increasing populations, increasing dangers to humans and critters, plus jellyfish getting sucked into water intakes, etc.

    Do jellyfish fill any important biological niches? Would the ecosystem notice if we got rid of them, and their former prey became food for fish we actually care about?

  17. Tom J says:

    Feeling typically masochistic on a Monday night I decided to whittle away my time and actually look into that darn jellyfish, Peryphilla peryphilla. Now, aside from the fact this jellyfish likes to repeat its name, I discovered that they’re distributed in just about all the deep oceans except for the arctic. And, wouldn’t you know it, they’re particularly common in the Lurefjorden, and apparently always have been. Who knows, maybe Lurefjorden was visited by Nostrodamus and told to get a head start on AGW. Or maybe Peryphilla went to the Lurefjorden a long time ago in anticipation of AGW, which is why the other references to its abundance there mysteriously don’t mention AGW. Peryphilla’s no doubt a sneaky jelly but maybe Asknes can see right through those lyin’ tentacles. And I’ll bet that AGW has somehow eliminated the lateral lines on all those unfortunate fish, which must be the true reason they can’t find prey in those warmth blackened waters. This is clearly another case where undisputed AGW is causing all those dark, demonic, stinging, poisonous, disease carrying, loathsome creatures to multiply exponentially while those cute, lovable, cuddly (or not cuddly when we eat them), creatures die ghastly, horrible deaths.

  18. Anthony H. says:

    Why would the difference in light/turbidity play a larger role than things like salinity, water temperature (runoff water being colder), or soil chemistry from runoff? There’s a lot of variables at play here besides the optical clarity of the water!

  19. Michigan says:

    When are these global warming fraudsters going to prison?

  20. Tim says:

    Another study that goes through mental gyrations to connect AGW/global warming/climate change in order to get funding – or at least to somehow justify their fundng.

  21. Martin Clark says:

    Duh …. some waters are dark. Australian billabongs often deep brown due to natural tannin. Loch Ness from the peat. Sometimes helpful to prey, more difficult for predators, but “life finds a way” as the saying goes.

  22. tty says:

    It should be noted that Hordaland where this research was done has long been famous (or infamous) as one of the wettest areas in Europe so freshwater runoff is hardly a new phenomenon.

    Note the sentence: “The project demonstrates that changes normally linked to eutrophication (nutrient pollution) and human emissions of nutrients….”. Almost certainly this was the original focus of the research, but now that funding for research on real environmental problems is drying up there is a desperate scramble to “climatize” results.
    Further it would be nice to know more about those the unspecified studies that indicate that warmer and wetter climate leads to more turbid runoff. Normally the opposite is the case, More vegetation means less erosion and clearer rivers.

  23. cartoonasaur says:

    Change. Yikes! Even worse, it’s UNWANTED change in the environment… Whoa – that CAN’T be good, hmm? I mean, the environment is the absolute worse place for change, right? Hmmmm…. Except for the fact that most every current environment is completely different from how it was during previous interglacials. Huh. Wow, it’s really going to suck when we change the environment to how it should be and those pesky glaciers start growing again and muck up all our careful peer-reviewed labors… Heh.

  24. Jimbo says:

    This could easily have been ignored if they left the global warming part out. Yet they had to put it in and then end with:

    “Furthermore, studies done at the University of Oslo indicate that increased precipitation and rising temperatures lead to changes in vegetation on land, which in turn increases the concentration of CDOM in the fresh water that mixes with the coastal water. We don’t know yet whether this leads to undesired changes in our coastal ecosystems, but if so, it will be hard to reverse,” the professor added.

    Here’s a similar paper (2006) from very same Dag L. Aksnes with no mention of global warming.
    http://bio.uib.no/modelling/papers/Sornes_2006_Concurrent_temporal.pdf
    .
    Perhaps if farming, grazing and herbicide use stopped in the area altogether then the increased precipitation and vegetation might reduce the amount of organic matter entering Lurefjorden fjord. Just a thought.
    http://www.lyngheisenteret.no/forskingsprosjekt/restoration%20of%20braken%20-invaded%20Callina%2007.pdf

  25. guam says:

    Or alternatively over fishing leaves more food in the water leading to the same effect. Can I have my grant now a few billion shoulds do.

  26. johanna says:

    More Three Bears science. At some point in time before today, conditions were just perfect, as they had been for unchanging millenia previously …

  27. petermue says:

    “there is a clear correlation between poorer conditions for fish, the increase in jellyfish and the lasting changes in light conditions”

    And the evil CO2 is the culprit… yes, yes…

    “We don’t know yet…” but we need a lot of funding
    /sarc

  28. wayne Job says:

    Tauric waste, posing as scientific research, land use and deforestation are usually the culprits.

  29. outtheback says:

    Lurefjord has a narrow opening, 200 mtr, to the open sea whereas the Masfjord has quite a wide mouth, stands to reason that the water replacement in the latter is much more thorough then the former. Any farm run off will therefor remain in the Lurefjord and darken the water much more then in the Masfjord. On top of that the Lurefjord has a shallow bar in the opening, 20 mtr, this would indeed lead to minimal water changes compared to the Masfjord. What is being proposed is quite possible and totally human related, more farm runoff and nutrients will remain in the Lurefjord as the tide will not take it all out to sea with every tide change.
    Not sure what they mean with similar fjords, they appear to be quite different. Lurefjord is almost a lake with a number of narrow arms.
    The rainfall in the area has not increased to such extend that one would expect to see the mentioned and feared for change in vegetation, about 5% more in recent years, but why a change in vegetation would increase dark matter is beyond me. Removing vegetation normally results in loss of top soil and runoff not a change in the type of vegetation.
    However it also needs to be said that this type of jellyfish always enters the Lurefjord in April anyway, so it may now stay there a bit longer or perhaps permanent due to the darker water, the dark matter is human related, not climate related.
    And indeed, fish like clear water so why go somewhere where you can’t see your food?
    That is a bit like hunting in the driving snow, can’t see your prey so you find an area where it does not snow.
    Stop farming around Lurefjord and all will improve.

  30. Christopher Hanley says:

    Of course it could have nothing to do with the fact that Norway is the largest exporter of oil and natural gas per capita outside the middle east; oil being the commodity that maintains those nice Norwegians’ stellar standard of living and sense of moral superiority: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_gW6m-AmYrqo/THdk2EasjmI/AAAAAAAADSw/xTGivY-TGn8/s1600/statoil-map.jpg

  31. haddock says:

    here in the UK we tend to fish for most species at night when catch rates are higher…. one of the best venues for big cod is the upper Bristol Channel which is nearly always the colour of chocolate so that day/night makes little difference.
    We don’t fish for jellyfish.

  32. I KNOW that this is incredibly puerile, but my inner child simply can’t resist telling you all that in Australian parlance a ‘Dag’ is lump that hangs off the arse of a sheep!

  33. Keith AB says:

    Well that’s all well and fine but what about the genocidal onslaught against the much maligned Crown of Thorns Starfish? This poor sea creature is being targeted by the Ozzies because it is doing what it does, eat coral. There is something wrong in a world that decides coral is more attractive to humans than a starfish based entirely on a species centric view of what is nice. What comes next, kill off ugly humans? Put dust into the atmosphere to jazz up sunsets?

    Nature does what it does and yet here we go again trying to make nature do something just because we think it’s pretty. How quickly we have forgotten that rabbit incident in Oz.

  34. Kev-in-Uk says:

    I didn’t realise it might be fear – I though the fish were shaking cos of the cold! LOL

  35. tango says:

    I wish I new what drugs that they are taking because they should tell there doctor before it is to late please can sombody help them

  36. This year Norway has more snow which took longer to melt off giving a longer spring melt time so more farm run off and, since Norway has an abundance of igneous and metamorphic rocks, more clay minerals washed into the ffiords. Mixing with salt or brackish water causes floculation of clay minerals which would help to give the conditions described.

  37. Maybe….the unsighted jellyfish are beating the vision impaired fish with their white walking canes.

  38. Gene Selkov says:

    The drainage basin of Masfjorden is much larger and includes several snow-capped mountain ranges. The water in Lurefjorden comes from low moorland of limited area. From these facts alone, can you predict which of the two will have water that looks like tea? Which of them drains faster?

    There is no agricultural run-off anywhere near the area discussed.

  39. Espen says:

    I don’t see anything wrong in studying the ecosystem of this fjord system, it definitely is something unique because of the way it’s closed off from the ocean. The AGW twist to it is probably something the researcher (sadly!) had to do to receive funding.

    Living by a Norwegian fjord myself, I’ve seen with my own eyes how the water gets darker during rainy summers, due to high contents of iron and biological matter in runoffs from not only agriculture and broken sewage systems, but (to a large extent, I think) peat- and marshlands, but it doesn’t take many days of dry weather to clear the water again – the fjord discussed in this paper is a very special case.

    Is it getting wetter, then? Yes, according to official statistics, the last 30 years have been quite a bit wetter than the preceding 80 years: http://eklima.met.no/metno/trend/RRA_G0_0_1000_NO.jpg

  40. Alan the Brit says:

    OMG! This is shocking news, disastrous news even. Surface water run-off flowing into streams which then flow into meandering rivers which flow out into esturine waters, depsositing vast ampunts of scoured silt material all the way in land, & some of the soils have different colours too! All through AGW!!! It’s worse than we thought, clearly! It’s never happened before, ever, never, ever, never, ever, never! Sarc off! Now, where is that satellite photo of the esturine forces at work from the Amazon River? Dispair! :-(

  41. Bob says:

    Another one for John Brignell’s list of things caused by global warming.
    http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

  42. son of mulder says:

    This problem has already been solved by the Angler fish about 100 million years ago, and they use low energy light bulbs.

  43. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    son of mulder said on November 20, 2012 at 4:22 am:

    This problem has already been solved by the Angler fish about 100 million years ago, and they use low energy light bulbs.

    How primitive!

    Coming soon from a genetics lab near you, after it’s decided “adapting to climate change” should include modifying organisms to withstand the otherwise-devastating effects of global warming, like darker water:
    http://images.neopets.com/items/vor_radarfish.gif

  44. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    Pseudo-science! Every marine biologist worth his salt (pun intended) knows deltas and marshes are the PRIMARY nurseries for in shore, near shore, and offshore fish populations. Some of the best fishing in the world is in the Mississippi River delta, where the water looks like muddy Coca Cola.

    The real question is how did deltas and coastal plains form before we had all this evil catastrophic global warming?!

  45. tadchem says:

    Let me guess: every December, when the sunlight disappears from the fjords completely and 24 hours a day of total darkness ensues, all the fish become extinct.

  46. Sonja A Boehmer-Christiansen says:

    News from here (UK)..we planted too many (imported) trees you know why, and now many of them are infected and are likely to die in large numbers. Another forest scare, but this time we can’t blame AGW, on the contrary. Sonja B-C

  47. Gene Selkov says:

    Sonja, it is certainly sad to see the trees die, but people planting them all over the island made me laugh more than once. When I arrived in Scotland in 2007, I was stunned to see palm trees growing in people’s yards. The tallest ones appeared to be 15-20 years old. Haven’t been there for a couple years, but I suspect they are all gone now. The last ones in Cambridge died last winter; most of those still around in London seem to be dead or nearly dead; those in Brighton are still ok — but I wouldn’t bet on them lasting much longer.

  48. Mike Rossander says:

    So nutrient run-off affects water quality which affects fish populations, some of which have significant economic consequences. I see nothing controversial in that analysis. I’ll even accept the hypothesis that the change in nutrient run-off is almost certainly human-caused. I have more difficulty with the jump to the conclusion that the change in nutrient run-off was solely or even primarily the result of temperature/precipitation changes without excluding alternative hypotheses such as land-use changes, farming/forestry practices, etc.

    If I’m reading the maps right, these two fjords are only about 10 km apart. Lurefjorden appears to show developed land all around it while Masfjorden shows more wooded shores. 10 km does not seem to be a plausible difference to suspect that global climate change will have a significant differential impact. Am I missing something here?

  49. Is it getting wetter, then? Yes, according to official statistics, the last 30 years have been quite a bit wetter than the preceding 80 years: http://eklima.met.no/metno/trend/RRA_G0_0_1000_NO.jpg

    You can thank the UK’s shift from coal to gas and the introduction of catalytic converters, reducing aerosols blown across the North Sea.

  50. David L says:

    It’s hilarious all the things they cook up that’s attributed to global warming.

  51. phlogiston says:

    OT, but the BOM Nino 3.4 SST index is currently 0.12 degrees and falling, for more than a week:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/monitoring/nino3_4.png
    The Nino 3 index has just fallen below zero:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/indices.shtml

    But the WUWT ENSO dial shows the value just increased from 0.5 to 0.7 degrees. Do we have a closet warmist controlling this dial?

  52. bobby b says:

    I felt kind of bad for the guy once it came out that his co-workers, as a prank, kept turning his watch five minutes earlier every morning, so that after a short period of time, his final two daily measurements came in the dark, making the water look . . . well . . . darker.

    j/k

  53. Espen says:

    Philip Bradley says:

    You can thank the UK’s shift from coal to gas and the introduction of catalytic converters, reducing aerosols blown across the North Sea.

    Not so sure about that. Looks more like a step change to me. They claim it’s because of higher SST, but north Atlantic SSTs were still low in 1980 – they had just started rising after bottoming out in the early seventies, and were still not at the 1930-1960 level. I think it’s interesting that the 1980-2010 period was a period where north Pacific AND north Atlantic SSTs rose pretty much in sync (they were not in sync in the 1930-1940 warm period, see figure 10 in Bob Tisdale’s post here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/08/on-the-amopdo-dataset/ ). North Pacific temperatures seem to be on their way down again after peaking around 2005, and whenever the north Atlantic temperatures also start dropping, the AGW priesthood may be in for an embarrassing surprise. IMHO the uniqueness of the late 20th century warming may simply be due to a couple of natural processes peaking simultaneously in a way they rarely do. And these processes involve some ocean atmosphere interaction. For instance: What if the step change in rain in Norway was a symptom of some kind of Atmospheric regime change that also caused the sudden change in the AMO from cooling to warming?

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