Claim: Climate Change is Speeding Up Global Ocean Currents

Deploying an Argo float. Courtesy of NOAA Corps.

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Climate scientists like Michael Mann have long predicted the slowdown of ocean currents, including the North Atlantic current which keeps Europe warm in winter, but measurements suggest that global wind speed and ocean currents are actually accelerating.

Climate change may be speeding up ocean circulation

Since the 1990s, wind speeds have picked up, making surface waters swirl faster

By Carolyn Gramling

FEBRUARY 5, 2020 AT 4:29 PM

Winds are picking up worldwide, and that is making the surface waters of the oceans swirl a bit faster, researchers report. A new analysis of the ocean’s kinetic energy, measured by thousands of floats around the world, suggests that surface ocean circulation has been accelerating since the early 1990s. 

Some of that sped-up circulation may be due to naturally recurring ocean-atmosphere patterns, such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, researchers report February 5 in Science Advances. But the acceleration is greater than can be attributed to natural variability alone — suggesting that global warming may also be playing a role, says a team led by oceanographer Shijian Hu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Qingdao. 

Global warming has long been predicted to slow global wind speeds, called “global stilling.” That’s because the poles are warming faster than the equatorial region, and a smaller temperature gradient between the two zones might be expected to result in weaker winds (SN: 3/16/18). But recent studies, such as a report published November 2019 in Nature Climate Change, suggest that wind speeds around the world have actually been speeding up, at least since about 2010. 

The new study suggests that winds have actually been picking up over the oceans for several decades, leading to the faster-swirling surface waters especially in the tropics. The study used data collected by over 3,000 Argo floats, which measure temperature, salinity and speeds of currents down to about 2,000 meters, in oceans around the world. Then, the team combined these data with a variety of climate simulations to calculate the change in kinetic energy —energy from the wind motion that gets transferred to the water — in that upper part of the ocean.

Read more:

The abstract of the study;

Deep-reaching acceleration of global mean ocean circulation over the past two decades

Shijian Hu, Janet Sprintall, Cong Guan, Michael J. McPhaden, Fan Wang, Dunxin Hu and Wenju Cai

Ocean circulation redistributes Earth’s energy and water masses and influences global climate. Under historical greenhouse warming, regional ocean currents show diverse tendencies, but whether there is an emerging trend of the global mean ocean circulation system is not yet clear. Here, we show a statistically significant increasing trend in the globally integrated oceanic kinetic energy since the early 1990s, indicating a substantial acceleration of global mean ocean circulation. The increasing trend in kinetic energy is particularly prominent in the global tropical oceans, reaching depths of thousands of meters. The deep-reaching acceleration of the ocean circulation is mainly induced by a planetary intensification of surface winds since the early 1990s. Although possibly influenced by wind changes associated with the onset of a negative Pacific decadal oscillation since the late 1990s, the recent acceleration is far larger than that associated with natural variability, suggesting that it is principally part of a long-term trend.

Read more:

What does Michael Mann have to say about the impact of global warming on ocean currents? This article is from five years ago, but the science is settled, right?

Global Warming Is Slowing Ocean Currents Causing Dire Consequences, Warns Climate Expert Michael Mann

 Cole Mellino Mar. 25, 2015 09:49AM EST

Climate scientists Michael Mann and Stefan Rahmstorf announced the findings of their new study yesterday, which shows that the rapid melting of the polar ice has slowed down currents in the Atlantic Ocean, particularly since 1970. The scientists say “the slowdown in ocean currents will result in sea level rise in cities like New York and Boston, and temperature changes on both sides of the Atlantic,” reports NPR’s Jeremy Hobson. Mann, who is a professor and the director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, joined Hobson yesterday on Here and Now to discuss the study and the implications of its findings.

Not only would North America and Europe experience colder temperatures, but “If those current systems shut down, then suddenly the North Atlantic [fisheries] would no longer be productive,” says Michael Mann. 

Read more:

Obviously Shijian Hu and colleagues may have gotten their calculations wrong, who can dispute the word of scientists like Mann and Rahmstorf?

On the other hand, if ocean currents are actually accelerating, and we apply Mann’s theory that global warming causes ocean currents to slow, does this mean ocean currents are accelerating because world is actually cooling? Or perhaps Mann’s theory is not reversible, warming causes a slowdown but cooling does not cause an acceleration? Or will ocean currents turn out to be an uncertain indicator subject to significant natural variation? Inquiring minds would like to know.

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Duke Henry
February 8, 2020 6:06 pm

Is it just me or are these people absolutely insane?

nw sage
Reply to  Duke Henry
February 8, 2020 6:30 pm

In a word, YES. I would add delusional.

What goes up, must come down, If it speeds up it must slow down, whatever is was doing it will always do something else.

Reply to  nw sage
February 8, 2020 8:16 pm

And if the slowed down currents are flowing faster than they did before the slow down, that would explain perfectly why global warming has resulted in a world cooler than it was before the warmup. And also why all this greenness makes me see red.

Reply to  nw sage
February 8, 2020 9:07 pm

It takes about 30 seconds to follow the link and read that they’re talking about different things:

“…the new study focuses on “the amount of swirling around of upper ocean waters due to wind,” rather than the speed of that overturning circulation,…”

So no conflict, no delusion, no insanity and no need to hate Mann or any other climate scientist for that matter.

But congratulations, you’ve just been whistled by Eric ‘the dog-whistler’ Worrel.

Martin C
Reply to  Loydo
February 8, 2020 9:28 pm

Loydo, what drives the ‘overturning circulation”?

How about ‘The meridional overturning circulation (MOC) is a global circulation cell wherein surface waters in the high latitudes are cooled, thereby becoming denser; this dense water sinks and flows towards the equatorial regions.the surface waters’

SEE THAT? SURFACE WATERS, or the ‘upper ocean waters due to wind’, just what you said.

DIFFERENT THINGS? I don’t think so . . .

BUT, I’m sure you’ll find SOMETHING to claim that isn’t the case. GO AHEAD, I DON’T CARE. It’s late here, and I won’t be up. Maybe someone else will reply to whatever you post after this. GOOD NIGHT

Lewis P Buckingham
Reply to  Loydo
February 8, 2020 9:33 pm

The bit people are talking about is this one
‘The increasing trend in kinetic energy is particularly prominent in the global tropical oceans, reaching depths of thousands of meters’

Reply to  Lewis P Buckingham
February 8, 2020 11:07 pm

Lewis, we could calmly debate the the pros and cons of the possibly conflicting results and thats what could happen or should have happened on an honest science forum. Instead there is a completely unjustified avalanche of abuse, derision, insults and hate. Here is a brief sample from this thread (so far):

“absolutely insane”
“makes me see red”
“crazy, shameless liars”
“Insane…insanely chasing grants”
“absolute morons”
“the whole construct starts to collapse”
“What the hell are these people smoking????”

Plus shouty above. Barely any of these ‘contributors’ would have bothered to read much past the headline. Worrell seems to go out of his way to illicit and foment these types of angry, hateful responses, out of nothing really. I think it should be called out for what it is: despicable, cowardly and malicious.

Lewis P Buckingham
Reply to  Lewis P Buckingham
February 9, 2020 12:38 am

Loydo Well, yes, too much invective that just clutters up the discussion.
The editors did try to stop trolling by using log in, but the US constitutional right to free speech means there is strong appeals to reasonableness using judgmental terms.
As an aside.
The Chinese follow a different line to Mann.
After all they don’t think that global warming is bad for China, and even if it were, having heat and power and technology is a way of controlling any harm.
A lot of China is desert and desertification follows global cooling, also China is a cold country. Heat means crops and food.
No more ‘great leaps forward’.
If what they say is true a lot follows.
That current running up the West coast of the US will presumably get stronger, explaining the warming of the Arctic.
CO2 then becomes irrelevant.
Theoretically CO2 should be slowing winds.
Always look to the CO2 theory.

Without special knowledge I am dubious of Argo Buoys.
They must follow currents as they float, so are picked up by stronger currents, as they have inertia.
So then that means we measure the stronger movements of water.
Then there is the big ‘Climate Science’ problem.
Orders of accuracy and verification.
Have a read of Heaven and Hell by Plimer
Now a bit dated, however the problem for him and others is that these changes lead to feedbacks which are not likely to destroy us.
In fact we have thrived when geologically warm times came and were nearly driven to extinction during the last major glaciation.
He just brought out another book which I have not read.
The Chinese, Russians,Brazilians and, of course, the Middle Eastern economies don’t think CO2 can be a problem.
The UK is going nuclear, with their Rolls Royce nuclear batteries.
That will cause angst in some Green circles.
But then, as is said, the Truth Is Out There.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Lewis P Buckingham
February 9, 2020 7:01 am

“Worrell seems to go out of his way to illicit and foment these types of angry, hateful responses, out of nothing really. I think it should be called out for what it is: despicable, cowardly and malicious.”

I wouldn’t characterize the sarcasm displayed here as hateful or angry. And I wouldn’t characterize it as cowardly since it’s right out in the open and anyone can comment on the comment, like you have done and I am doing.

You know, after you see hundreds of insane proposals from the alarmists, some people tend to get fed up with debunking the craziness in detail, and just resort to calling them crazy. For the most part, there is no hate involved. They are just stating their opinion without malice although no doubt with much frustration.

Your efforts to demonize this website and the people who populate it are noted.

Reply to  Lewis P Buckingham
February 9, 2020 8:14 am

Loydo’s a hard core liberal. They define hate as anything short of full blown worship.

Reply to  Lewis P Buckingham
February 9, 2020 8:17 am

The troll who writes “Eric “the dog whistle” Worral, then goes on to whine about hateful rhetoric.

Irony is lost on the left.

Reply to  Loydo
February 9, 2020 9:00 am

And of course Loydo, there is no snark against skeptics going on over at your favorite site Hotwhopper, where you are a willing participant.

Hypocrisy, much?

Reply to  Loydo
February 9, 2020 9:37 am

Loydo sez:
But congratulations, you’ve just been whistled by Eric ‘the dog-whistler’ Worrel.

Got your attention……

Thomas Englert.
Reply to  beng135
February 9, 2020 4:09 pm

I don’t think illicit means what Loydo thinks it means.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Loydo
February 9, 2020 3:36 pm

Actually reading the paper shows that the first header following the “Introduction” is “Deep-reaching acceleration of the global mean ocean circulation.” They’re looking at the “total kinetic energy anomaly” of the entire ocean.

The section headed “Deep-reaching acceleration of the global mean ocean circulation” concludes that yes, the total kinetic energy (i.e. velocity) of the global oceans is increasing. But at the very end of the “Introduction” section is this:

“However, because of a lack of systematic direct ocean current observations (24), the issue of whether there is a trend emerging over in the global mean ocean circulation remains elusive. Here, guided by in situ observations, reanalysis products, and model experiments, we show that a substantial acceleration of global mean ocean circulation has occurred over the past two decades.”

In other words, this isn’t based on much in the way of actual data. The supplementary data section (separate, but accessible) isn’t very helpful to me, since the data sources are given in terms of these maddening and gratuitous acronyms that the climate community insists on using (I think to make themselves sound “space-age” smart while obfuscating as much as possible).

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
February 10, 2020 5:53 am

Thanks for pointing that out, Michael.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Duke Henry
February 8, 2020 8:21 pm

Yes, they are crazy, and also very predictable, and they are shameless liars.
When ocean currents were predicted by them to slow, it was a disaster.
Now, if they are getting faster, it is a disaster.
If they find out at some point they are staying exactly the same, it will be a disaster.
Recall the hurricane drought?
The opposite, literally exactly the opposite of what they predicted.
And the response?
“It is terrifying that there have been no hurricanes.”

Rich Davis
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 9, 2020 4:28 pm

careful, you’re going to make Loydo cry. again.

Zeek Fitz
Reply to  Duke Henry
February 8, 2020 8:43 pm


Komrade Kuma
Reply to  Duke Henry
February 9, 2020 1:11 am

Nah, its just another one of Mann’s ‘tricks’.

Why this guy is listened to is beyond me.

Reply to  Duke Henry
February 9, 2020 3:30 am

Irrational and thick as mince. Fanatacism is redoubling your efforts while losing sight of any objective. Follow the money.

old white guy
Reply to  Duke Henry
February 9, 2020 5:37 am

No, they are certifiably nuts.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Duke Henry
February 9, 2020 8:05 am

Nothing insane about lying and cheating to get what you want. And being of lower than normal intelligence doesn’t count as insane, nor does being completely incompetent with statistics. That said, these are not necessarily Nobel Peace Prize (real or imaginary) worthy traits, and that is a low standard considering some of the winners and the fact a habitual school truant with mental health issues is now considered a contender for simply wining about how tough life is.

Charles Higley
February 8, 2020 6:24 pm

Wow, Spanky! The currents go faster when they warm? Golly gee, Buckwheat, it’s like the water is thinner and less viscous, so it flows faster.

The oceans have warmed a whopping 0.1ºC in the last 100 years, no panic, please.

Studies of the sediments in the strait between Florida and Cuba showed years ago that, with warmer water, the Gulf stream flows faster and, with colder water, it is more sluggish, exactly in tune with water’s viscosity. Wow, we re-invented Chem 101.

This is a good example, from Europe’s Gulf Stream warming effect, of a positive feed back loop. Warmer water makes them warmer and the ramped up speed transfers even more heat in their direction. However, with cooling waters, the heat transfer decreases and slows, which is not a good thing.

Reply to  Charles Higley
February 8, 2020 7:40 pm

… and if water gets cold enough, it has the tendency to stay in one spot.
… and if water gets hot enough, it will go airborne and flow with the wind whither so-ever it will.

Al Miller
February 8, 2020 6:26 pm

Insane…insanely chasing grants – to hell with real scientific credibility.

Max Hugoson
February 8, 2020 6:31 pm

Evidently these morons can’t tell the difference between 15 pounds of pressure per square inch in 9000 and fundamentally the difference between a 15 pound mass in a 9000 pound Mass. This is the ratio of the mass and the sensible heat holding capacity of the air versus the oceans. There’s a similar ratio with regards to the mechanics of the air currents and the movement of the ocean waters the oceans regarded the airflow over them is trivial. From an engineering standpoint these guys are absolute morons.

Len Werner
February 8, 2020 6:35 pm

Ocean currents are one of the most fundamental controllers of climate on this planet, for reasons that many frequenters of this site know much better than I do, being only a geologist. So if Dr. Mann predicted that with his knowledge of climate, that warming would cause these currents to slow, but measurements show that they have done the opposite–how is Dr. Mann’s entire understanding of his claimed field of expertise not now in serious question? Should he be passing his ‘knowledge’ on to others?

Reply to  Len Werner
February 9, 2020 6:27 am

This bothered me a lot. If the arctic warms, there is less delta T with the equator and, the earth being a heat engine, there should be less north-south circulation.

On the other hand, there is also east-west circulation. zonal and meridonal flow

One of the graphics in the linked articles seems to indicate that the greatest change in circulation is along the equator. I’m guessing that the increased circulation is along the lines of latitude.

Gerald Machnee
February 8, 2020 6:43 pm

The story will have to change to “go with the flow”.

High Treason
February 8, 2020 6:47 pm

If ocean currents are moving faster, the oceans should absorb more CO2 and mingle it deeper to reduce the acidification effect. Sounds like an equilibrium.

Time for the warmists to go back in their caves. Mind you, Sydney, Australia today is a day to be holed up in a cave. In spite of the bureau of meteorology saying there won’t be any significant rain until April, the entire catchment area is going to get a good 2 inches (and the rest) over the entire catchment area. All over Sydney is going to get 4 inches-a tenth of our annual rainfall today. The northern beaches-Tony Abbott territory is about to cop a hammering. At least a couple of the fires have been quenched.

Reply to  High Treason
February 9, 2020 10:43 pm

I saw that too HT. The Bureau of Meteorology actually told State and Federal ministers not to expect rain until April, that the fires were going to be around for months to come. How could the government bodies get the sandbags organised for flood zones when they’ve geared up to fight more fires?

BOM can’t predict torrential rainfall within a two week timeframe yet they expect us to believe that the earth is going to warm to dangerous levels by the end of the century. And apparently the only way to save it is to destroy the world ‘as we know it’. I’m waiting for them to tell us now that the floods are due to Climate Change.

How frustrating is it to have Michael Mann on our television programs. Barnaby Joyce had the odds stacked against him four to one including the journalist on Sixty Minutes, the politicians are starting to speak up here and Mann couldn’t give him a scientific answer to issues he raised. Mann may have been exposed in the courtroom as being questionable but he’s carrying on as though he is one hundred percent accurate and sadly there are many people ignorant of his story who have been sucked in.

Martin Cropp
February 8, 2020 6:49 pm

Could it be that the faster ocean currents are causing a slight warming, by transporting a larger quantity of warmer water faster.

The chicken or the egg ————-.

Me wonders.

February 8, 2020 6:57 pm

Maintaining a l1e gets harder & harder the longer it’s carried on.

Eventually the l1er can’t keep track of what’s been said before, and the whole construct starts to collapse.

Was it ever thus . . .

February 8, 2020 6:59 pm

Ocean currents are speeding up, ocean currents are slowing down, there is drought, there is flood, there is snow, there is fire, there is sun, there is cloud, there is heat, there is cold,,,, and it is all caused by Global Warming and ‘Climate Change” Amen.

February 8, 2020 7:03 pm

Wait, just a few months ago they were telling us that global warming was slowing down ocean currents.
Don’t tell me that CO2 is capable of making water go both faster and slower, at the same time.

Reply to  MarkW
February 8, 2020 9:00 pm


February 8, 2020 7:04 pm

“The new study suggests that winds have actually been picking up over the oceans for several decades”

As everyone knows, if anything in the world changes, it’s caused by CO2. No need to actually prove a connection.

Sceptical lefty
February 8, 2020 7:06 pm

Slowing down — bad!
Speeding up — worse than we thought!
Either way, Climate Change wins.
This is much better than ‘one-way’ CAGW.

Reply to  Sceptical lefty
February 8, 2020 11:40 pm

Either way; It’s just like they predicted.

Reply to  DonK31
February 9, 2020 3:33 am

That’s the play. The sky is falling, either way.

Dave O.
February 8, 2020 7:07 pm

To be safe, they will end up saying that the global warming hypothesis predicts both acceleration and deceleration of ocean currents.

Pariah Dog
Reply to  Dave O.
February 9, 2020 12:00 am

…simultaneously. And if you can’t accept that you must be a science denier. /sarc

Pillage Idiot
February 8, 2020 7:08 pm

On the simplest level, aren’t increasing ocean current speeds likely to make the “weather” more benign?

The temperature differential between the equator and the poles drives most of the catastrophic weather events – hurricanes and tornadoes in particular. Making the oceanic heat pump more efficient should reduce the differential.

This study has to be wrong, because we know the “science” of global warming says it is always worse than we thought.

Reply to  Pillage Idiot
February 8, 2020 8:08 pm

Hurricanes (tropical cyclones) generally don’t get much of their energy from horizontal temperature gradients. (With some exceptions, mostly after their core wind speeds have peaked out, mostly farther from the equator and/or at times of the year that they are running into significant horizontal temperature gradients only moderately far from the equator.) I expect global warming to make tropical cyclones slightly more intense, although I also expect this to be outweighed by multidecadal oscillations because “tropical cyclone territory” is warming less than the world as a whole. I expect northern hemisphere windstorms other than tropical cyclones to get less windier because the Arctic is warming more than the world as a whole.

As for Sandy: When that storm made landfall it was mainly a nor’easter with a trace of remaining hurricane core (mostly consumed by the nor’easter shortly after the storm’s center moved over water too cool to maintain a hurricane), and the nor’easter that formed around the hurricane did so because that hurricane was heading into an area where a big nor’easter was about to form, during nor’easter season and in the late-season for hurricanes.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
February 8, 2020 10:36 pm

The phrase/name you seem to be missing is the proper meteorological name for storms that are sometimes by some people in a certain region called nor’easters.
They are called mid-latitude cyclones.
There is no season for these.
They are a continuous feature of the atmosphere, although at some times of year they may tend to get stronger, move more quickly, be more numerous, etc.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
February 8, 2020 10:21 pm

Hurricanes result in a net poleward movement of heat, but by definition they take place within a single air mass, and not as a result of a clash of warm and cold air, as is the case with mid-latitude cyclones.
Lack of wind shear, low pressure at the surface and high pressure aloft, and humid air in all quadrants…this is what let’s hurricanes occur once the water is warm enough.
They are most frequent very close to the time of year that the latitudinal temperature variation reaches a minimum value and then reverses.
In the Atlantic basin hurricane season, the best predictor of hurricane activity is the state of the ENSO.
El niño conditions tend to inhibit Atlantic basin tropical cyclones, and la niña conditions tend to be associated with more active seasons.
A lot of tornadoes are associated with landfalling hurricanes, so those cannot be attributed to latitudinal temperature variations either.

The severe thunderstorms that lead to the strongest tornadoes are triggered by a clash of air masses of different temperature and humidity level, but there also need to be a turning of wind direction with height.
If there was some simple relationship between temperature contrasts and tornadoes, it ought to be possible to predict when there will be more of them or less of them well in advance, but as far as I know no one has done this. Recent years with hardly any tornadoes in the US were not predicted by anyone, AFAIK…or at least not anyone prominent (I am not talking about short term predictions related to specific storms, but large scale predictions on a seasonal or annual basis, based on temperature analysis of the relative temp of the poles and tropics).

February 8, 2020 7:12 pm

Slowing. Accelerating. Cooling. Warming. Changing. Undeniable.

February 8, 2020 7:19 pm

The logic the AGWers are using is: 1. Global Warming decreases gradients and so slows down circulation 2. this stalling causes some regions to get even hotter and some to get even cooler so 3. that sets up even stronger gradients. Ergo even stronger winds and currents.

Mann and friends have been using this kind of logic to predict intensification of Hadley Cell circulation for a while now.

Phil Salmon
February 8, 2020 7:20 pm

Now ocean circulation joins the list of 30 other things that “climate change” is reported to affect in two opposite ways (warmer and colder, wetter and dryer etc.)

Here’s the list – in the NoTricksZone article each one is linked:

Amazon dry season greener
Amazon dry season browner

Avalanches may increase
Avalanches may decrease

Bird migrations longer
Bird migrations shorter
Bird migrations out of fashion

Boreal forest fires may increase
Boreal forest fires may continue decreasing

Chinese locusts swarm when warmer
Chinese locusts swarm when cooler

Columbia spotted frogs decline
Columbia spotted frogs thrive in warming world

Coral island atolls to sink
Coral island atolls to rise

Earth’s rotation to slow down
Earth’s rotation to speed up

East Africa to get less rain
East Africa to get more rain

Great Lakes less snow
Great Lakes more snow

Gulf stream slows down (and it causes warming)
Gulf stream speeds up a little (and it also causes warming)

Indian monsoons to be drier
Indian monsoons to be wetter

Indian rice yields to decrease
Indian rice yields to increase

Latin American forests may decline
Latin American forests have thrived in warmer world with more co2!

Leaf area index reduced
Leaf area index increased

Malaria may increase
Malaria may continue decreasing

Malaria in Burundi to increase
Malaria in Burundi to decrease

North Atlantic cod to decline
North Atlantic cod to thrive

North Atlantic cyclone frequency to increase
North Atlantic cyclone frequency to decrease

North Atlantic Ocean less salty
North Atlantic Ocean more salty

Northern Hemisphere ice sheets to decline
Northern Hemisphere ice sheets to grow

Plant methane emissions significant
Plant methane emissions insignificant

Plants move uphill
Plants move downhill

Sahel to get less rain
Sahel to get more rain
Sahel may get more or less rain

San Francisco less foggy
San Francisco more foggy

Sea level rise accelerated
Sea level rise decelerated

Soil moisture less
Soil moisture more

Squids get smaller
Squids get larger

Stone age hunters may have triggered past warming
Stone age hunters may have triggered past cooling

Swiss mountain debris flow may increase
Swiss mountain debris flow may decrease
Swiss mountain debris flow may decrease then increase in volume

UK may get more droughts
UK may get more rain

Wind speed to go up
Wind speed slows down
Wind speed to speed up then slow down

Winters maybe warmer
Winters maybe colder

Reply to  Phil Salmon
February 9, 2020 2:24 am

You left out the right handed swimming sharks .. HOW DARE YOU

Reply to  Phil Salmon
February 9, 2020 7:15 am

Yes it was made in 2011 – originally by Jimbo here, reposted by Pierre Gosselin at NTZ.
Clearly in need of an update.

Joel O'Bryan
February 8, 2020 7:26 pm

I was contemplating writing this piece of Science Mag junk science up.

So they climate scammers have all their bases covered. Every conceivable outcome.
Here in this research: Climate change –> faster ocean current.


Here in thius research from 2018:
“Scientists Say Ocean Circulation Is Slowing. Here’s Why You Should Care.”

And the Nature research article:
“Anomalously weak Labrador Sea convection and Atlantic overturning during the past 150 years”

So the climate change faithful has all their bases covered. It is a religion. No matter what happens…. it is Climate Change due to man’s evil CO2 emissions.

Eve Stevens
February 8, 2020 7:42 pm

A warming world means warming at the poles since the equator does not change. Warming poles means less temperature difference between the poles and the equator so less wind between the two. The planet has been cooling since 2002 so the poles are cooling and wind is increasing. Does that wind mean faster ocean currents? Possible.

Reply to  Eve Stevens
February 8, 2020 7:54 pm

As for the planet cooling since 2002: Please have a look at

Eve Stevens
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
February 8, 2020 11:12 pm

I noticed the cooling in 2008. Judith Curry said 2002 so I will use that. I have not noticed it being warmer since and it is a lot colder. It really does not matter what a graph says. We who are living in the temperatures should be able to tell. That is, if you have your windows open.

Matt G
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
February 9, 2020 4:53 am

It was cooling since 1998 and 2002 until the strong El Nino developed during especially 2016.

The strong El Nino and generally El Nino conditions since 2016 have maintained recent slighter higher global temperatures, nothing to do with CO2.

February 8, 2020 7:51 pm

“Since the 1990s, wind speeds have picked up, making surface waters swirl faster”


“But recent studies, such as a report published November 2019 in Nature Climate Change, suggest that wind speeds around the world have actually been speeding up, at least since about 2010.”

I remember making a comment to a Facebook post a couple months ago, saying manmade climate change cannot be responsible for both a wind speedup of recent years and a wind slowdown over the few decades before those recent years, while the Facebook posting tried to blame both on manmade climate change. Changes that last a few years or a decade are weather not climate, like the recent severe drought in Australia where there is no trend of droughts getting worse even with that drought included in trend calculations, like record-setting winter weather happening somewhere every winter, and like the US Dust Bowl period with a lot of drought (that has records still standing) and extreme high temperatures (most statewide alltime high temperature records from that period still stand). I expect the wind slowdown to resume according to whatever datasets are both reasonably accurate and reasonably comprehensive.

February 8, 2020 8:20 pm

I think it is fair to say that climate change is increasing the speed of ocean currents AND I think it is fair to say that climate change is decreasing the speed of ocean currents, AND I think it is fair to say that climate change is not changing the speed of ocean currents.

February 8, 2020 8:22 pm

I stopped reading after this, “But the acceleration is greater than can be attributed to natural variability alone…”

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nimby
February 8, 2020 10:46 pm

This evidence free assertion is a whopper alright.
I had a hard time taking it seriously after that as well…then again it is hard to take these people very seriously at all to begin with.
Wait…I take that back.
It is impossible.

Clarky of Oz
Reply to  Nimby
February 9, 2020 3:16 am

They must mean some one is out there with a paddle?

Reply to  Nimby
February 9, 2020 6:03 am

yeah since 1990 and when did the argos get placed?
hardly enough time to establish anything much about variability ?
and volcanic vents all have an effect on temps and currents surely?
that massive pacific one with pumice flow as just one recent one of note, that’d muck up any argo buoys in it or nearby

Nicholas McGinley
February 8, 2020 8:28 pm

Well, just think about it.
They started out with the fact that heat flows from the tropics to the polar regions, and this flow of energy is via air and ocean currents.
So how did the poles get warmer?
Obviously by more heat flowing from the tropics.
Would more heat be flowing if winds were getting weaker”
If ocean currents were slowing?
The atmosphere can and does shed heat to space very rapidly.
Between the hottest part of the day and dawn of the following day, an almost unlimited amount of cooling can occur.
And does occur.
If the poles are warmer, more heat is being transported there.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 8, 2020 9:09 pm

Of course, global warming causes global cooling. The globe is like a doughnut, heat goes up around the equator and down at the poles. Think about a thermal low and those dust devils.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  mbur
February 8, 2020 10:57 pm

Donuts go up around the equator and down at the poles? ;-/
I thought the Earth was like a large macaroon.
And the atmosphere was like a lava lamp.
At that point I decided to take some classes on the relevant subjects.

Best to stick to what can be observed.
Here are some handy reference images on my Twitter page…just scroll around to see more.

February 8, 2020 8:30 pm

If global warming is triggered by 2W/m**2 of extra longwave radiation, and evaporation rids the surface of 80
W/m**2, thus causing winds and currents, then even a slight increase in tropospheric dynamics is going to take a fair fraction of that 2W/m**2. So this would have to be a powerful negative feedback effect. Perhaps this is why the models are not yet completely exact.

February 8, 2020 8:51 pm

Just how much have winds ”picked up”, and has wind picked up everywhere? and how and how much does wind affect an ocean currents? If the wind changes direction – which it does several times a week here – does that mean the currents follow?
I thought these currents are brought about by temperature differentials under water just like those that cause wind.

February 8, 2020 8:59 pm

”But the acceleration is greater than can be attributed to natural variability alone — suggesting that global warming may also be playing a role”
”in Nature Climate Change, suggest that wind speeds around the world have actually been speeding up, at least since about 2010. ”

So co2 has become active in the last ten years and caused this ”acceleration” in wind speed? It ”can’t be attributed to natural variability”?
How many ppm co2 have been added in the last ten years.
What the hell are these people smoking????

February 9, 2020 12:49 am

“Global warming has long been predicted to slow global wind speeds, called “global stilling.” That’s because the poles are warming faster than the equatorial region”

Both poles?

February 9, 2020 1:17 am

The situation today is that we are forced to do something, even if the consequences are catastrophic. Anyone who does nothing can not be mistaken.

February 9, 2020 1:20 am

This should not be much of a surprise to at least one reader of WUWT. Here is an extract from the last December:
vukcevic December 23, 2019 at 2:12 am
Global SST appear to follow the changes in the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field with a strong inverse correlation and about 10 years delay.

Underlying hypothesis is based on the basic laws of physics, but is it credible?
One of the basic principles of electromagnetism is that a force is required to move a conductor through magnetic field, due to the electric current induction (back EMF force), stronger the field greater the resisting force.
Saline sea water is a good electric conductor, hence, as the Earth’s magnetic field weakens the oceans’ current circulate just a bit faster moving more heat and the further towards the poles than is the case at the times of the stronger magnetic field. Ocean currents have low velocity taking few years to move large volumes of subsurface warm water for the temperature change to take full effect.

Rich Davis December 23, 2019 at 1:28 pm
As I said on an earlier thread, this is fascinating stuff. Based on the ~10-year lag, it provides the opportunity to make predictions that can be falsified. Imagine that, a falsifiable hypothesis! With the magnetic field intensity flat to slightly strengthened recently, temperatures should remain roughly flat or slightly cooler for the next decade.
For this hypothesis to be supported, ocean currents should have been flowing faster over time as magnetic field intensity has weakened. All those argo floats drifting around must be generating some data about this, no?

vukcevic December 23, 2019 at 2:49 pm
Indeed, good point, I have not looked in the Argo data, next stop.”

Link shown can be found in a number of my comments posted on the WUWT during the last couple of years while the global temperature correlation link is :

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Vuk
February 9, 2020 8:09 am

Thanks for that comment, Vuk.

I thought that the possible connection between ocean currents and magnetic fields was plausable back when I first heard about it. Maybe this new study will shine some light on this connection.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 9, 2020 10:45 am

Thanks Tom

Rich Davis
Reply to  Vuk
February 9, 2020 4:13 pm

That was my first thought when I saw the headline! I searched for your name, and to my surprise I found my own name. Well, I hope that your credibility isn’t hurt by association with a crackpot like me! 🙂

Still fascinating stuff!

Reply to  Rich Davis
February 10, 2020 1:24 am

I’m a member of the same club, the membership is free.

Ed Zuiderwijk
February 9, 2020 1:22 am

First they were slowing down. Now they are speeding up. But they all miss the point. The really important question is: are they turning right or left? Or up or down? Or all of those? We need to know!

Clarky of Oz
February 9, 2020 3:23 am

Acceleration is a wonderfully descriptive and flexible term. it can be both positive or negative. To say an object is accelerating means it is either speeding up, slowing down or simply changing direction.
“Accelerating objects are changing their velocity – either the magnitude or the direction of the velocity. Acceleration is the rate at which they change their velocity. Acceleration is a vector quantity; that is, it has a direction associated with it. The direction of the acceleration depends upon which direction the object is moving and whether it is speeding up or slowing down.”

Matt G
February 9, 2020 4:12 am

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) has been found to have strengthened over the recent decades and this caused a faster flow of ocean surface water that is able to delivery more energy to the surface and atmosphere quicker. It’s the main reason with the AMO that the Arctic ice has declined with warmer water reaching the Arctic ocean quicker.

Speeding up ocean currents are actually causing warming climate because it also changes the distribution of cloud albedo around them. Like with ENSO when the surface ocean speeds up clouds formation reduces as in La Nina. In both cases cloud albedo decreases increasing shortwave radiation penetrating the ocean, resulting in increased energy storage.

The claim that ocean currents have speeded up is nothing new, but highlights further evidence using Argo floats that is most likely correct.

This articles claim that ocean currents are speeding up due to climate change then becomes pseudoscience because not only does it contradicts previous claims by the alarmist scientists. They pick any new findings or observations and blame it on global warming/climate change. That is not using scientific method and just continues the charlatan behaviour that maintains global warming/climate change phenomenon. They are claiming the mouse in the room shakes it while ignoring the elephant standing in the corner.

The oceans control the atmosphere’s energy and as usual this has been spun around like political spin.

Carl Friis-Hansen
February 9, 2020 5:15 am

I think Eric Worrall’s last paragraph says it al.
Last year the wind industry were angry because the global average wind speed had fallen – so what is it?

Ben Vorlich
February 9, 2020 5:55 am

A shutdown or slowdown of the thermohaline circulation is a hypothesized effect of global warming on a major ocean circulation. A 2015 study suggested that the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) has weakened by 15-20% in 200 years.

Q1 if ocean currents are speeding up dies this mean they are getting back to where they were previously?
Q2 If slowing ocean currents and speeding up ocean currents are both going to kill us, how can we maintain a constant velocity?
Q3 Isn’t the whole theory that predicted slowing ocean currents now scrap?

Matt G
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 9, 2020 9:56 am

1) Based on computer model.

That 2015 study with one of the authors being “Michael”E.”Mann was based on computer model stimulating past climate and the AMOC so basically a guess (garbage with observations). It was not based on observations that showed current speeds slightly increasing.

2) The AMOC is based on slowing currents becomes negative cold AMO phase and faster currents positive warm AMO phase. Maintaining a constant velocity helps keep the climate stable and past history shows this can change often. The positioning during past history changes much more and has the largest effect on climate.

3) No, but not likely anytime very soon. When it does in future estimated to be about 14 years time, when the next cold AMO phase likely resumes.

Bob Cherba
February 9, 2020 7:21 am

‘Seems to be I’ve read in the past several years that wind turbines were reducing wind speeds, which makes sense. The warmists might now think that all those wind turbine propellers are speeding up the wind. Fits in with the rest of their “science.”

February 9, 2020 7:45 am

Since currents and winds are increasing, rather than decreasing as the climate warming “experts” swore would happen under global warming, we are obviously undergoing the opposite of global warming. Changing the definition of global warming doesn’t change the fact that the world is not behaving the way the “experts” said it would.

Michael Jankowski
February 9, 2020 10:35 am

Wonder if Mann got his panties in a wad with the peer reviewers who accepted a manuscript that debunked a past paper of his.

February 9, 2020 12:46 pm

Ha, I just read today on Tom Nelson’s twitter account that climate change might cause the jet stream to speed up. I recall the ‘settled science’ reporting that it might cause it to slow down.

February 16, 2020 12:01 pm

The globe is in fact cooling down due to the solar minimums, meny poeple find it hard to accept due to politcal reasons.

February 16, 2020 1:02 pm

Globe is in fact cooling. That is the reason of the speeding up. Sea ice is now at its 11 year highs.

Globel warming cycle has ended 10 to 15 years ago.

Globel cooling is now setting in.

All because of the solar minimums.
CO2 has a negligable effects

In the next 5 years the barent sea would of completely closed up of sea ice in March, very power storms will cross the UK in early winter

Similar to the 1600s

Watch this space!


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