Earth's Climate is see-sawing


Lund University in Sweden has just released a very interesting research summary titled: “The Earth’s climate is seesawing”.

Here is the short opening summary:

“During the last 10,000 years climate has been seesawing between the North and South Atlantic Oceans. As revealed by findings presented by Quaternary scientists at Lund University, Sweden, cold periods in the north have corresponded to warmth in the south and vice verse. These results imply that Europe may face a slightly cooler future than predicted by IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

“…during the last 9000 years we can identify a persistent “seesaw” pattern. When the South Atlantic was warm it was cold in the North Atlantic and vice verse.”

As many know, the “great conveyor belt” of the Atlantic is major factor in Northern Hemisphere Climate. It seems to be driven by ocean salinity changes, which are the result of periodic ice freeze/melt cycles.

“This is known to have happened repeatedly during the present Interglacial (the warm period since the last Ice Age). Minor disturbances have taken place in recent time, such as the Great Salt Anomaly in the 1970s, which seriously affected the cod population around the Faroe Islands.”

This lines up well with the cooling trend seen in surface temperature data from about 1940 to the late 1970’s, when “global cooling” was a big concern for scientists. Now it appears that we are in the flip side of the salinity cycle, and ice is melting again.

This is a good illustration that scientists don’t fully understand Earth’s complex climate system and its myriad of interactions and cycles, and that there are things yet to be discovered about what drives climate.

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November 30, 2007 7:28 pm

You know, I wish more people would actually look at the charts themselves rather than relying on secondary or tertiary sources to make decisions themselves. It is just as bad with the right as it is with the left.

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