Claim: Climate Change is Making One of the World’s Strongest Currents Flow Faster

A change in the Southern Ocean, the region absorbing the most human-induced warming globally, is detected by new technology

Peer-Reviewed Publication

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA – SAN DIEGO

Release of Argo float into Southern Ocean
IMAGE: RESEARCHERS RELEASE AN ARGO FLOAT INTO THE SOUTHERN OCEAN view more 
CREDIT: ISA ROSSO/SOCCOM

The Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), the only ocean current that circumnavigates the planet, is speeding up. For the first time, scientists are able to tell that this is happening by taking advantage of a decades-long set of observational records.

Researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and UC Riverside used satellite measurements of sea-surface height and data collected by the global network of ocean floats called Argo to detect a trend in Southern Ocean upper layer velocity that had been hidden to scientists until now.

The team representing the National Science Foundation-funded Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) project reports its findings in the Nov. 29 issue of the journal Nature Climate Change.

Prevailing westerly winds have sped up as climate warms. Models show that the wind speedup does not change the ocean currents much. Rather, it energizes ocean eddies, which are circular movements of water running counter to main cuurents.

“From both observations and models, we find that the ocean heat change is causing the significant ocean current acceleration detected during recent decades,” said Jia-Rui Shi, formerly a PhD student at Scripps Oceanography and currently a postdoctoral researcher at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

“This speedup of the ACC, especially its jet centered on the Subantarctic Front, facilitates property exchange, such as of heat or carbon, between ocean basins and creates the opportunity for these properties to increase in subsurface subtropical regions.”

The ACC encircles Antarctica and separates cold water in the south from warmer subtropical water just to its north. This warmer part of the Southern Ocean takes up a lot of the heat that human activities are adding to Earth’s atmosphere. For this reason, scientists consider it vital to understand its dynamics, since what happens there could influence climate everywhere else.

The ocean warming pattern is important. When the gradient, or amount of heat difference, between warm and cold waters increases, currents between those two masses speed up.

“The ACC is mostly driven by wind, but we show that changes in its speed are surprisingly mostly due to changes in the heat gradient,” said co-author Lynne Talley, a physical oceanographer at Scripps Oceanography.

Long-term data capturing changes in the Southern Ocean were hard to come by before the availability of satellite-mounted instruments and the Argo network. That network of autonomous floats, which measure ocean conditions such as temperature and salinity, began in 1999 and reached full capacity in 2007. A full complement of 4,000 floats across the world’s oceans continues to collect data to this day. The researchers were thus able to use more than a decade’s worth of comprehensive Argo data to distinguish the trend of the accelerating current from natural variability.

Study co-authors said it is also likely that the speed of the current will increase even more as the Southern Ocean continues to take up heat from human-induced global warming. 

Besides Shi and Talley, the research team included Scripps Oceanography climate scientist Shang-Ping Xie, Qihua Peng of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Wei Liu of UC Riverside.

###                                                                 


JOURNAL

Nature Climate Change

DOI

10.1038/s41558-021-01212-5 

METHOD OF RESEARCH

Data/statistical analysis

SUBJECT OF RESEARCH

Not applicable

ARTICLE TITLE

Ocean warming and accelerating Southern Ocean zonal flow

ARTICLE PUBLICATION DATE

29-Nov-2021

From EurekAlert!

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OweninGA
November 29, 2021 2:12 pm

“Due to the heat gradient”? Did they mention the mechanism for this? So the heat gradient between the cold in the south and the warmer in the north causes the water to be accelerated at right angles to the gradient. I have seen some intersting result of curls and cross products appear at right angles, but I can’t see a mechanism here to cause a right angle acceleration. Can someone explain this? or is this another example of weak statistical correlation leading to assumptions of causations?

Bindidon
Reply to  OweninGA
November 29, 2021 2:32 pm

Maybe you simply (try to) read their paper, instead of guessing and discrediting the authors’ work…

Derg
Reply to  Bindidon
November 29, 2021 2:39 pm

Another paper….Settled science indeed 😉

Mike Edwards
Reply to  Bindidon
November 29, 2021 2:54 pm

Tricky to read the paper since it is paywalled.

Richard Page
Reply to  Bindidon
November 29, 2021 4:52 pm

Have they examined and eliminated every other possible reason for this anomaly before deciding what must be causing it? Or was this the only possible cause they bothered to look at?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Bindidon
November 29, 2021 6:51 pm

From the paper: “The ACC encircles Antarctica and separates cold water in the south from warmer subtropical water just to its north. This warmer part of the Southern Ocean takes up a lot of the heat that human activities are adding to Earth’s atmosphere.”

Where’s the evidence for this claim? This is just more fact-free science scaremongering from alarmists.

How much heat are human activities adding to the Earth’s atmosphere? Answer: Noone knows, it can’t be measured. Yet these “scientists” claim this heat is speeding up the current around Antarctica.

Typical Alarmist Climate Science: Nothing but assumptions and assertions. It’s really pathetic that these people think they are doing science. They are doing speculation, and not very good speculation at that.

Pitiful. Grasping at straws.

Redge
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 29, 2021 11:12 pm

This warmer part of the Southern Ocean takes up a lot of the heat that human activities are adding to Earth’s atmosphere

Trenberth would be proud

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 30, 2021 1:17 am

They seem to be stealing their theories from dystopian SF novels.

Duane
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 30, 2021 4:58 am

Pretty hard to support their assertions about warming when it runs completely counter to the data which show that Antarctica has been cooling substantially for the last 30 years, with a growing ice cap.

To bed B
Reply to  Duane
November 30, 2021 10:40 am

That is the point of the research. This cooling is due to many Hiroshima bombs per second of heat added to the oceans because of our decadent capitalist lifestyle was the pre-agreed-upon conclusion.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Bindidon
November 29, 2021 7:44 pm

I would suggest their results are foreordained by the title of their little grouping.

“ the National Science Foundation-funded Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) project”.

Like the IPCC their objective is conjure “carbon” as the cause of whatever they are supposed to be studying.

C G
Reply to  Bindidon
November 29, 2021 8:50 pm

Since it’s behind a paywall why don’t you help us understand it

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  OweninGA
November 29, 2021 2:39 pm

I am aware that air movement is relative to the pressure gradient, right. So a map of isobars would have winds parallel to the isobars, and the closer together the isobars the stronger the wind. So a similar mechanism, only isotherms instead of isobars? Since water is allegedly non-compressible, but we know its density varies with temperature, it could compute. I’m not certain of this, despite a semester of Fluid Flow a long time ago, so YMMV. But this means the speed of the current is determined not by the absolute temperature of the ocean but rather the temperature differential and how rapidly it changes over distance.

Last edited 1 month ago by Red94ViperRT10
Shanghai Dan
Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
November 30, 2021 5:38 pm

And, as this is a two-ended system with a differential, it means a cooling Antarctic would cause the same result as a warming subtropical ocean. But I guess that doesn’t support orthodoxy, so it must be a stable (or slower-to-warm) Antarctic and a rapidly warming subtropical ocean.

Vuk
Reply to  OweninGA
November 29, 2021 2:43 pm

Hi Owen
I came across this claim some years ago when I was looking it the CPC’s (circumpolar current) natural quasiperiodic oscillations.
My conclusion: if claim is true that is, it is nothing to do with the angle, but more to do with temperature of warm Indian Ocean current. Warmer the current, more saline and more heavy it is, which means it will sink faster and consequently accelerate overall circulation.

Last edited 1 month ago by Vuk
Vuk
Reply to  Vuk
November 29, 2021 2:45 pm

I hope this image might help

scan100dpi.jpg
OweninGA
Reply to  Vuk
November 29, 2021 3:03 pm

Thanks, that looks interesting. (Based on observation, but a simplified cartoon which means it doesn’t say why it occurs only that it does and leaves out details.)

Saline gradients I can see. if sinking water in one place exceeds other places, but I still get an image of a pressure hole at that location and a rotationward acceleration of the sinking pool making deep water also move into the rotation direction. I don’t get a preference for adjoining surface water from any one direction to fill the depression in the surface left by the sinking saline stream except from the direction (from the north) of the providing current. So while I see that accelerating the Indian Ocean current, I still don’t get an eastward bending of the surface current of the ACC. Perhaps I will find this paper when I get to work, but I think we have a one year embargo on our Nature subscriptions, and I will have forgotten all about this question when it comes available.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Vuk
November 30, 2021 10:13 am

It is fascinating that CliSciFi can determine that Man’s CO2 emissions is the sole determinant of recent (ARGO from about 2004) changes to one component of a complex system. I wonder what data supports the report’s “natural” variability with which the new data is compared. ARGO coverage does not exist for a purported 30-year “climate period.”

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  OweninGA
November 29, 2021 2:47 pm

“Study co-authors said it is also likely that the speed of the current will increase even more as the Southern Ocean continues to take up heat from human-induced global warming.”

Probably best to be skeptical….

SxyxS
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
November 29, 2021 4:30 pm

” take up heat from human induced global warming”

there is so much propag….science within so few words .
It is amazing.

Why the selective heat take up?
Wheres the take up of global warming” that is not induced by humans?(is such a warming even allowed to exist ?)
What about the take up of human induced global warming during the hiatus?Or was the hiatus adjusted away in the meantime?
The hiatus started around the same time as this project.
Was the current flowing slower during the ice age scare as result of human induced global cooling.
Or does the current only follow the current lie?
Do we really need an increase in sea temperatures to see an increase in temperature differences or could a cooling world has the same effects,when the arctic water is cooling faster than tropical water?(as result of lower volcano acivities in polar regions?)

And when will we start to relate the covid virus to AGW.
As the repressions and politics of both are almost the same and lead toward the same goal it is about time that we blame the wuhan lab virus on global warming.

Or is this entire article a preventiv excuse for ,let’s say,more ice in Antarctica.
The faster current flow should be the perfect deus ex machina to explain everything away as in the arctic the hypothetical slowing down of the gulf stream is used for a mann-made-global – warming freezing scenario that even Hollywood uses in movies.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  SxyxS
November 29, 2021 7:00 pm

It’s ridiculous. They can’t even prove human activities are heating up the Earth’s atmosphere to a point that it is detectable, yet they claim to see results of this imaginary heating in the southern oceans.

They started off with an unfounded human-caused global warming narrative and this is where it takes them. They see human-caused warming in everything they look at. Confirmation bias.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 30, 2021 10:41 am

It is Western governments’ longstanding policy that CAGW is a real and present danger. They will only fund science that supports that decades-old policy. The periodic U.S. National Climate Assessments (NCA) are the poster child of those funding decisions.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  SxyxS
November 30, 2021 1:25 am

But is it really a new thing or something that occurs cyclically? And is it a bad thing? So far, all the stuff the CAGW clowns “discover” and label as bad either are perfectly normal parts of natural cycles or don’t exist.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
November 29, 2021 6:57 pm

It’s likely these guys are just blowing smoke. It’s much more likely than human activities speeding up the currents around Antarctica.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 30, 2021 8:34 am

How much velocity change are they finding ? A difference in velocity of a km or two per day is essentially nothing for those historically strong currents, yet works out to a huge number of joules….the article should have contained those numbers since the paper itself is paywalled. The abstract says “…In Drake Passage, little warming occurs and the SAF velocity remains largely unchanged….”. That doesn’t seem to track with the headline….

Lil-Mike
Reply to  OweninGA
November 29, 2021 3:17 pm

I did some searching on zonal acceleration. I found papers about atmosphere which describe this. Bulging in some boundary areas creates a foil which causes acceleration along the surface of said foil.

Lil-Mike
Reply to  Lil-Mike
November 29, 2021 3:18 pm

but it still seems flimsy to me.

Truthbknown
Reply to  OweninGA
November 29, 2021 3:20 pm

Don’t worry People! Bill Gates has a plan to end “climate change”, he plans on murdering 6 Billion people with phony “vaccines”….

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  OweninGA
November 29, 2021 3:54 pm

“curls and cross products”. There you go, trying to bring in mathematics, the language of science.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  OweninGA
November 30, 2021 12:56 am

but I can’t see a mechanism here to cause a right angle acceleration. Can someone explain this?”

Yes.
It’s called the Coriolis force, and is the same force here as drives the PJSs.
In short a meridional temperature gradient in the atmosphere (subtropics to pole) – create a horizontal pressure differential at altitude (for the PJS it’s around 300mb at a max). This causes the warmer air to move towards the colder and due to the Earth’s rotation – turn to the right in the NH and to the left in the southern.
This is then reflected in there being strong storms being formed/driven by said jet.
So then we have as a consequence strong westerly winds as an average mean component circulating Antarctica, which in turn drives the surface ocean.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Anthony Banton
November 30, 2021 2:33 am

The same applies to the ocean, there is a horizontal temp gradient across the ACC – at depth this is accentuated by salinity differentials and the the movement of downwelling cold water northwards under and the warm then drives the warm waters south, with the Coriolis force then acting to the left on the upper warm waters on the northern flank of the ACC to drive the current westwards.

Lrp
Reply to  Anthony Banton
November 30, 2021 12:39 pm

You have it back to front. Coriolis force is the effect of rotating masses and not the cause

Alan the Brit
Reply to  OweninGA
November 30, 2021 3:31 am

“Southern Ocean upper layer velocity that had been hidden to scientists until now.”

So how do they know that it hasn’t always happened in the past???

Graemethecat
Reply to  Alan the Brit
November 30, 2021 5:13 am

They don’t. Just like the Ozone “Hole”, they are observing a phenomenon which has no doubt existed for millennia or even millions of years, and ascribing it to Human agency.

Jay Willis
November 29, 2021 2:23 pm

” The team representing the National Science Foundation-funded Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) project reports its findings ”

Right, so ‘scientists’ paid to find a signal…find a signal. Cripes, who’d have guessed.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Jay Willis
November 29, 2021 7:03 pm

That’s the way the UN operates, too. They set out to find Human-caused Climate Change and now claim to have found it. This way the money keeps flowing into their coffers.

Jay Willis
November 29, 2021 2:25 pm

Perhaps the southern ocean current is eroding a deeper channel and speeding up as a consequence. A prelude to a new ice age perhaps.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Jay Willis
November 29, 2021 7:04 pm

Speeding up as compared to what? They don’t have much data. Not enough to make any definitive conclusions.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 30, 2021 1:28 am

But sketchy data didn’t stop them from jumping to very definite conclusions!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
November 30, 2021 4:59 am

That’s the problem. 🙂

Dave Fair
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
November 30, 2021 11:33 am

Mark Twain said: “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of facts.”

GregK
Reply to  Jay Willis
December 1, 2021 10:28 pm

We haven’t got out of the old one yet

alastair gray
November 29, 2021 2:29 pm

Well I suppose with enough Argo floats you can get a better estimate of an ocean current speed. But hang on a minute “The Science” was already settled so what is this backsliding revisionism? I suppose since it comes under the category “It’s worse than we thought” then it must be OK

lee
Reply to  alastair gray
November 29, 2021 6:35 pm

Just how many Argos can fit in the ACC?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  alastair gray
November 29, 2021 7:06 pm

What was the current like back in the 1930’s?

What was the current like back in the 1880’s?

Do you think any of these scientists know the answers to those questions?

How much of a handle can they have on the situation with the limited data they have?

They are speculating and calling it established science.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tom Abbott
Red94ViperRT10
November 29, 2021 2:33 pm

I’m not sold. We already know the PDO is, what, 60 years? 30 years favoring El Niño formation, 30 years favoring La Niña formation, and they have only a little more than a decade of data? Flatly stating “This warmer part of the Southern Ocean takes up a lot of the heat that human activities are adding to Earth’s atmosphere.” supposes facts that are not in evidence (is that how the lawyers would put it?). Where is the heat coming from? No one is sure, and anyone who states they are sure is just flat lying (that’s another way of saying “virtue signaling”).

I don’t know what’s actually in the paper, but this article introducing the paper is full of b*** s***!

Last edited 1 month ago by Red94ViperRT10
OweninGA
Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
November 29, 2021 3:05 pm

That was my gut feeling as well about the news release.

Rich Davis
Reply to  OweninGA
November 29, 2021 3:59 pm

from EurekAlert! would be the most definitive clue

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Rich Davis
November 29, 2021 4:57 pm

SciTechDaily and other science news outlets are carrying the same story. Probably based on the same propaganda press release.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
November 29, 2021 7:13 pm

Don’t be surprised if you see a dozen stories written about this in the next couple of days.

The climate change propagandists try to overwhelm the news cycle when they get a new climate change story.

The memo goes out, and a dozen reporters start writing their stories, giving their own personal angle to them.

It’s well-funded climate change propaganda. Some people are spending a lot of money trying to manipulate our minds. Sorry, No Sale! You can’t sell us speculation as beig evidence. We know the difference.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 29, 2021 7:47 pm

Covering Climate Now

Goebbels would be so proud

Dave Fair
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 30, 2021 11:39 am

But the average voter doesn’t know the difference. Governments, government funded institutions, ideological organizations of all stripes, activists and the sensationalist media all tell the public that Man’s emission of CO2 will lead to dangerous warming.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
November 29, 2021 3:59 pm

Since we evil folks in the Northern Hemisphere are all driving SUVs and creating the heat, how does it get all the way to the vicinity of Antarctica before it is absorbed by the ocean?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 29, 2021 7:16 pm

I thought it was cold down in Antarctica? Our Northern Hemisphere heat doesn’t seem to be doing them much good.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
November 29, 2021 7:08 pm

““This warmer part of the Southern Ocean takes up a lot of the heat that human activities are adding to Earth’s atmosphere.” supposes facts that are not in evidence (is that how the lawyers would put it?).”

That’s the way I would put it.

That’s definitely the way a lawyer in court would put it.

Disputin
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 30, 2021 2:29 am

But, but, isn’t there a lot of heat from the “Ring of Fire” in the seabed down there?

JCM
November 29, 2021 2:41 pm

Why do so many researchers tarnish their work by making statements such as: “Anthropogenic ocean warming is the dominant driver”. If the ’cause’ of warming is not the thesis presented there is no basis in the study to make such statements. Perhaps thousands of papers would have a longer shelf life if the wording was revised such as: “The Southern Ocean (>30° S) has taken up a large amount of anthropogenic heat north of the Subantarctic Front (SAF) of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC).” Many of the findings would remain valid should the hypothetical source of this heating be revised.
They rest their work on the wobbly house of cards when there is no reason to do so. I suppose it’s an editorial thing to beef up the 99% meta analyses.

Last edited 1 month ago by JCM
OweninGA
Reply to  JCM
November 29, 2021 3:06 pm

Probably added by the reviewers. Nature has gotten to be all CACA all the time of late. CACA supporting statements are added into all articles. It is really distracting.

JCM
Reply to  OweninGA
November 29, 2021 3:21 pm

It could be so. It could also simply be an subconscious autopilot writing style borne from spending too much time in the echo chamber. Either way, in most disciplines it’s unusual to casually include cited findings in an abstract. In effect, it works as a amplifier of consensus.

M Courtney
Reply to  OweninGA
November 30, 2021 12:13 am

the journal Nature Climate Change.

Not Nature itself. Or even Nature Communications.
If it’s credible it’s not in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Joao Martins
Reply to  OweninGA
November 30, 2021 2:34 am

I agree; taken “CACA” as a Portuguese (or Spanish) word.

whatlanguageisthis
Reply to  JCM
December 1, 2021 10:42 am

If the ’cause’ of warming is not the thesis presented there is no basis in the study to make such statements.

Adding anthropogenic warming to a science paper is like adding COVID to a death certificate – it gets you more money from the government.

Peter Wells
November 29, 2021 2:46 pm

Absolutely amazing to see some of the stuff “Scientists” will believe!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Peter Wells
November 29, 2021 7:20 pm

They get paid to believe certain things. This will cause some people to see things that are not really there.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 30, 2021 1:34 am

“If there is a steady paycheck in it, I will believe the sun rises in the west!” or words to that effect when Winston applied for a job with Ghostbusters….

Eric Stevens
November 29, 2021 3:10 pm

Nobody seems to be referencing either the paper or its abstract. See https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-021-01212-5

Abstract————
The Southern Ocean (>30° S) has taken up a large amount of anthropogenic heat north of the Subantarctic Front (SAF) of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). Poor sampling before the 1990s and decadal variability have heretofore masked the ocean’s dynamic response to this warming. Here we use the lengthening satellite altimetry and Argo float records to show robust acceleration of zonally averaged Southern Ocean zonal flow at 48° S–58° S. This acceleration is reproduced in a hierarchy of climate models, including an ocean-eddy-resolving model. Anthropogenic ocean warming is the dominant driver, as large (small) heat gain in the downwelling (upwelling) regime north (south) of the SAF causes zonal acceleration on the northern flank of the ACC and adjacent subtropics due to increased baroclinicity; strengthened wind stress is of secondary importance. In Drake Passage, little warming occurs and the SAF velocity remains largely unchanged. Continued ocean warming could further accelerate Southern Ocean zonal flow.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Eric Stevens
November 29, 2021 3:49 pm

This acceleration is reproduced in a hierarchy of climate models

Does that mean it’s models all the way down? Asking for a friend…

n.n
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 29, 2021 3:55 pm

Hypotheses dressed as theory begging the facts.

Richard Page
Reply to  Eric Stevens
November 29, 2021 4:58 pm

“Strengthened wind stress is of secondary importance.” Really? Given that El Nino and La Nina conditions have seen winds drive water across the Pacific, are they trying to write these events out of the climate narrative now?

MAL
Reply to  Eric Stevens
November 29, 2021 5:31 pm

Here we use the lengthening satellite altimetry and Argo float records to show robust acceleration of zonally averaged Southern Ocean zonal flow at 48° S–58° S. ” This is what being observed. The cannot know of answer on simple question “has it happen in the past?” Since they don’t know that everything else is a computer game.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MAL
November 29, 2021 7:24 pm

They are describing what has happened over a very short period of time. They have no data to compare it to, so they speculate that humans must be causing something to happen.

Science is hanging its head in shame at this dysfunctional thinking.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tom Abbott
garboard
Reply to  Eric Stevens
November 29, 2021 6:09 pm

so there is no change in the drake passage , virtually the only place where southern ocean current could be measured , but stuff is happening along the boundary with warmer water to the north which was hitherto unknown and unknowable .

Tom Abbott
Reply to  garboard
November 29, 2021 7:25 pm

And the conclusion? Why, it must be humans what done it!

Dave Fair
Reply to  Eric Stevens
November 30, 2021 11:47 am

In Drake Passage, little warming occurs and the SAF velocity remains largely unchanged.” If a portion of the SAF remains unchanged, would acceleration of flow in other portions cause a buildup of water just ahead of the Drake Passage?

Smart Rock
November 29, 2021 3:13 pm

They have observed warming and current acceleration from about 30 years of data. This is interpreted as a monotonic, secular trend.

It could also be one half of a 60-year cycle. Or a small part of a 1,000-year cycle, both of which can be detected in historical climate data. Or even both, superimposed.

But then it wouldn’t be anthropogenic, and we can’t allow that, can we?

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Smart Rock
November 29, 2021 3:51 pm

It could also be one half of a 60-year cycle

The temperature here has risen 10K since early morning, and its not even noon yet. By the weekend, we’re all gonna boil!

SxyxS
Reply to  Smart Rock
November 29, 2021 4:41 pm

Dude,the guys had only 10 years of data about the ozone holes (Which are probably there for billions of years )
Yet they were instantly able to determine 100% that (of course man made) CFCs are to the ozone layer what co2 is to climate.
In this case they have a few years more of observation – how can these gods be wrong?

Lil-Mike
November 29, 2021 3:15 pm

Anthropogenic ocean warming is the dominant driver, as large (small) heat gain in the downwelling (upwelling) regime north (south) of the SAF causes zonal acceleration on the northern flank of the ACC and adjacent subtropics due to increased baroclinicity; strengthened wind stress is of secondary importance

I don’t get this entering opposite comparisons in the abstract:
large (small)
downwelling (upwelling)
north (south)

How does heat gain in a downwelling north of the SAF current work, or change anything? I would think that warmer water would be less likely to increase downwelling.

Tom in Florida
November 29, 2021 3:22 pm

“to detect a trend in Southern Ocean upper layer velocity that had been hidden to scientists until now.”

You know what I am about to ask. If it was hidden until now, how can there be any comparison as to what it was?

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Tom in Florida
November 29, 2021 3:53 pm

Anything that happens is bad, and caused by stupid greedy capitalists (not woke progressives, oh no, not them). C’mon, man!

Rud Istvan
November 29, 2021 3:39 pm

I have a few logical problems with this paper, even IF the observation about speedup is true.
First, 30 years of ARGO data does not yet exist. ‘Full’ deployment was at earliest 2006. It is 2021, so only 15 years exist at most.
Second, CO2 is ‘sequestered’ in deep bottom waters by seasonal surface sea ice formation, exuding brine, which because heavy and cold then sinks. True in both the Arctic and Antarctic oceans. Little directly to do with the ACC outside the max Antarctic sea ice extents.
Third, IF true, then the relative warming of the Antarctic archipelago (much ado about nothing) would not have been observed. But it was.

SxyxS
Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 29, 2021 4:59 pm

Once you pay people money to have a certain opinion logic becomes the first victim.

We have so much data about the atmosphere and so many educated prostitutes – yet the climate models are shit .

Now oceans enter the ring ,and to quote scientists ” less than 5% of the oceans are explored “,
and yet they somehow know everything with a few years of data?!?!

n.n
November 29, 2021 3:53 pm

Their conclusion begs facts (e.g. human-induced warming) asserted, presumed, or inferred.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  n.n
November 29, 2021 7:30 pm

Definitely asserted. They are very sure of themselves.

Mike
November 29, 2021 3:59 pm

Climate science…..
”If we look real hard at something we can find something and it may be different somehow and it’s probably a bad thing but there is absolutely no doubt it’s our fault.”
Oh…. My…. God!….we need to look deeper into this!
( how did humans ever survive before climate science? )

Chris Hanley
November 29, 2021 4:15 pm

A change in the Southern Ocean, the region absorbing the most human-induced warming globally, is detected by new technology …

“The Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean, generally taken to be south of 60° S latitude and encircling Antarctica” (Wiki).
Argo data shows no net warming in the Southern Ocean 55S – 65S, 0 – 1900m depths:

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris Hanley
Rud Istvan
Reply to  Chris Hanley
November 29, 2021 4:22 pm

A mere observational detail. They were paid to find something, so they did.
Hey, the kids got his doctorate out of this drivel. What’s not to like? /s

ex-KaliforniaKook
Reply to  Chris Hanley
November 29, 2021 11:00 pm

The graphs you are pointing to haven’t been corrected yet. Over a period of a few years this data will be corrected to properly reflect warming.

Dave Fair
Reply to  ex-KaliforniaKook
November 30, 2021 11:56 am

Karl already added 0.12 C to measured ARGO data.

David A
Reply to  Chris Hanley
November 30, 2021 1:01 am

Yes, they choose a cooling ocean basin (lol) to tease hidden before now heat out of the data that was there all along, that is somehow the result of excess human caused LWIR, and it, this subtle hidden anthropogenic heat, may accelerate this subtle hidden evidence of ocean circulation in the future.

sorry, post normal science is anything but science.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Chris Hanley
November 30, 2021 1:42 am

Hey, the Southern Ocean is on the planet Pern of Dragon Rider fame. These guys really are caught up in fantasy here, not even on Earth anymore.

MarkW
November 29, 2021 4:40 pm

10 years is way, way too short a time period, to declare that any changes must be caused by CO2.

Bruce Ranta
November 29, 2021 4:56 pm

These people are lunatics. It’s nothing but ‘follow the money’.

Thomas Gasloli
November 29, 2021 5:05 pm

So, based on less than 20 years of data, they have absolute certainty that this is a new phenomenon caused by climate change. Is this arrogance or just ignorance?

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
November 29, 2021 6:05 pm

Why not both?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 29, 2021 7:31 pm

I vote both.

David A
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 30, 2021 1:03 am

But which is greater and which is worse? That will puzzle your puzzler for a bit.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
November 30, 2021 11:57 am

Or profit.

Joel O'Bryan(@joelobryan)
November 29, 2021 5:32 pm

Or aternatively, a faster Southern Ocean circulation is causing climate to slowly change. The arrow of causality, if the two are evenlinked at all, is not established by this paper, just an untested assumption.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 29, 2021 6:06 pm

The whole CAGW hypothesis is a completely untested assumption

Dave Fair
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 30, 2021 11:59 am

But CAGW has been Western governments’ policy and CliSciFi funding criteria for decades.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 29, 2021 7:33 pm

Yeah! That antarctic current speeding up may be the cause of all the cooling since 2016. It’s sucking down all the human-derived CO2.

David A
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 30, 2021 1:05 am

Or accelerated ocean currents would be a negative feedback.
“ why don’t we call the whole thing off”

Peta of Newark
November 29, 2021 6:32 pm

Why is it not behaving as the Polar Vortex does.

Cold means faster.
Because cold creates laminar flow = less turbulence = less drag = higher speed for same energy

The Stratosphere is cold – that’s why it is stratified.
The Troposphere is warm, = why is is not stratified = why it is turbulent and that turbulence is what we call ‘weather’

Laminar Flow = what the air-dam or ‘spoiler’ does on the front of your car.
It creates a thin slab of laminar air under your motor as you pootle along. This laminar slab has low drag/turbulence and so improves your car’s aerodynamic efficiency and thus fuel economy. Crazy huh – shaping the underneath of your car like a brick makes it go faster

As happens on Planet Uranus (or is it Neptune – the blue one anyway)
Almost no energy input there from El Sol yet it has equatorial winds of 500+mph – like our very own Polar Vortex – both the North and South editions of same

What they rabbit on about with ‘eddies’ would work to slow it down
They don’t understand their own subject and in their muddlement are effectively saying, warming = cooling

If the current is moving faster, that means that the water is colder.
Stacks up nicely with Global Warming Theory.
There’s only ‘so much’ energy
If its in the air, it’s patently not in the water.
If it’s in the air it can not enter or get into the water (2nd Law)

A warming Troposphere represents a cooling Planet
If those ocean currents really are speeding up, also jet streams and polar vortexes getting larger/faster, that is what’s happening. Cooling.

Wrap up warm, we’re headed into A Cold Place

Last edited 1 month ago by Peta of Newark
Pat from kerbob
November 29, 2021 7:40 pm

But all the recent “science” is about how CO2 has slowed the wind, ruining wind turbine performance

Up is down as always

November 29, 2021 8:43 pm

The oceans take up very little heat from the atmosphere as the thermal capacity of water per volume is about 3200 times that of air. As the atmosphere sit above the oceans, when the air is warmer than the water, evaporation increases carrying thermal energy away from the oceans.
The oceans are warmed by solar influx, particularly in the tropical zones and where the oceans warm the air above.

RoHa
November 29, 2021 10:19 pm

Climate change is turning the world into a blue donut?

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  RoHa
November 30, 2021 12:19 am

I thought it was just me that saw that…

Alan Tomalty
November 29, 2021 11:12 pm

 “used satellite measurements of sea-surface height”
“From both observations and models, we find that the ocean heat change is causing the significant ocean current acceleration”

These 2 sentences prove that this paper is garbage. The accuracy of sea surface height measured by satellites is laughable. Furthermore using a climate model to bolster your argument is Alice in Wonderland stuff.

Redge
November 29, 2021 11:14 pm

The researchers were thus able to use more than a decade’s worth of comprehensive Argo data to distinguish the trend of the accelerating current from natural variability.

More than 10 years!

Thank goodness they have such a comprehensive base to draw conclusions from.

Rah
Reply to  Redge
November 30, 2021 9:39 am

Well at least they didn’t try to claim that NASA’s made up numbers of southern ocean temps were viable to use in their models.

Matthew Sykes
November 29, 2021 11:19 pm

This warmer part of the Southern Ocean takes up a lot of the heat that human activities are adding to Earth’s atmosphere.”

No, IR cant penetrate water to any meaningful depth. It is impossible for it to enter the oceans and cause heating.

it can raise the skin temperature, and cause the oceans to retain energy derived from visible light, but that is not absorbing energy from IR, from the atmosphere.

Patrick healy
November 30, 2021 12:49 am

If we needed any (further) proof of these scholars scientific illiteracy the bit about “facilitates property exchange, such as heat or CARBON”
confirmed it.
Read no further folks.

Joao Martins
November 30, 2021 2:17 am

Claim: Climate Change is Making One of the World’s Strongest Currents Flow Faster
… and, believing that the picture at the top was not photoshopped, …

climate change is making donuts becoming blue.

Mike Maguire
November 30, 2021 8:02 am

What’s most interesting is that the effect they describe from global warming is the 100% “polar” opposite of the effect taking place on the other side of the planet…….the Arctic.

In the Northern Hemisphere, we know with certainty that the warming has been magnified as you go poleward. The Arctic has warmed the most. This has been accurately measured.

This has DECREASED the meridional temperature gradient and weakened jet streams in the Northern Hemisphere. This, the result of an assumption that the heat from global warming is collecting faster at the higher latitudes……which actually is verified with observations.

This current study, assumes something different. The heat from global warming is collecting at LOWER latitudes in the oceans and causing an INCREASE in the meridional temperature gradient because the higher latitudes are not cooling as much in the Southern Hemisphere, like they are in the Northern Hemisphere.
This leads to the complete opposite effect in the Southern Hemisphere by tightening the temperature gradient there which increases wind.

So the question really is: Why does each end of the planet have completely different temperature gradient dynamics with changing latitude?
Maybe they address that somewhere in the paper that I can’t read?
Could be related to the differences in ocean/land, with the Antarctic being a massive land mass, surrounded by much more ocean compared to the Arctic.

If they don’t address and explain that, then their assumptions and reasoning here are very speculative and overlooking something(s), possibly more powerful than the causes they assign to the effect.

Mark BLR
November 30, 2021 8:06 am

The full paper is paywalled, but the available “Extended Data” figures at the bottom of the Nature article webpage are … “interesting” (?) …

E.g. “Extended Data Fig. 3 : Time series of upper 100 m and 2,000m zonal velocity”.

Legend underneath figure :
(a, b), Time series of upper 100 m zonal velocity averaged between 48˚S-58˚S relative to the average of 1955–2004 from CMIP6 and LENS simulations, respectively. CMIP6 multi-model mean (MMM) is the black curve, with superimposed observation-based products: IAP (brown), EN4 (green), and Argo (red; since 2005). The velocities from observation-based products apply the surface altimetry-based Ug as a reference velocity. (c, d), Same with (a, b), but for the 2,000 m zonal velocity.

– – – – –

That clearly shows the extended “overlap” period between data measurements and model simulations, and how well they match … now, where’s the “sarcasm” HTML tag button again ? …

Shi-et-al_2021_Ext-Data-Fig-3.jpg
Last edited 1 month ago by Mark BLR
Rah
November 30, 2021 9:33 am

And Antarctica just had the coldest 6 months since records began in 1957. So that is a sign of a “warming planet” ?

TonyG
November 30, 2021 9:41 am

I keep getting “subscription fault” on this article so hoping this post will subscribe me.

Dave Fair
November 30, 2021 10:30 am

From the AGU:

“Research Letter
Recent Shift in the Warming of the Southern Oceans Modulated by Decadal Climate VariabilityLina Wang,Kewei Lyu,Wei Zhuang,Weiwei Zhang,Salvienty Makarim,Xiao-Hai Yan
First published: 28 December 2020 https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL090889

Part of the Abstract: “It has been reported that the Southern Hemisphere oceans experienced rapid warming during the decade-long global surface warming slowdown (2003–2012) and the earlier period of the Argo record (2006–2013). In this study, we analyze updated observations to show that this rapid warming has slowed down, leading to less contribution of the Southern Hemisphere oceans to the global ocean heat storage (∼65% over the available Argo period 2006–2019). Two warming hotspot regions, the southeast Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, have experienced cooling over 2013–2019.”

CliSciFi needs to coordinate their messaging.

December 1, 2021 10:14 am

A faster spinning Southern Circumpolar Current will cool, not warm, the climate by increasing the oceanographic isolation of Antarctica. Do they even stop to think before claiming any and every climate development as confirmation of climate warming doom.

It was the isolation of Antarctica established about 16 million years ago that started full Antarctic glaciation and the earth’s current – and ongoing – slide into glaciation.

Last edited 1 month ago by Hatter Eggburn
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