In other words, the new study indicates that "humans have made the oceans more stable, and the result will be more extreme weather and the acceleration of climate change," as study co-author John Abraham wrote Monday for The Guardian. Get a daily email of our original, groundbreaking stories written by our national network of award-winning reporters. “Evidence is mounting that this circulation system is already slowing down, as has been predicted by climate models,” he said. warmer fresher waters atop colder more saline ones. The authors of this study include Guancheng Li, Lijing Cheng, Jiang Zhu of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Science (IAP, CAS) and the CAS Center for Ocean Mega Science; Kevin E. Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research; and Michael E. Mann, with the Department of Meteorology & Atmospheric Science at The Pennsylvania State University; John Abraham, of the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering. And if the layers of warm water slow the ocean’s uptake of carbon dioxide, more heat-trapping CO2 will stay in the atmosphere. The impacts of the Antarctic Ice Sheet response to climate change will have global consequences for millions living near the coast. are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert!  @aasjournal, Copyright © 2021 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. Mann said a warm upper ocean cannot hold as much dissolved gas, whether it’s carbon dioxide or oxygen, just like a warm soda can’t hold its fizziness. As temperatures increase due to climate change, the ocean water becomes more stratified. The new study overcomes the key limitations and provides an estimate on ocean stratification for the upper 2000m and also its spatial structures. The study also suggests that increased layering could affect El Niño-La Niña cycles in the Pacific. If more and more heat stays near the surface of the ocean, the warm water will heat the atmosphere above. That vast system of ocean currents shunts warm and cold water between the Arctic, North Atlantic and Antarctic oceans. 86-108-299-5053 With increased stratification, heat from climate warming cannot penetrate into the … Previous quantification of stratification change has been limited to a simple index and has neglected the spatial complexity of ocean density change. As the climate responds to decades of increasing carbon emissions, the store of energy and heat from the atmosphere builds up in the ocean. Stratification intensifies under warming. is a service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Therefore, the observed ocean stratification increase is another irrefutable piece of evidence of human-driven global warming. In a report published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the international team of climate scientists said they found that stratification globally had increased by a … Previous calculations measuring the change over time were not as accurate because they didn’t include as much data, said co-author, The observed increase in ocean stratification is “yet another climate science prediction come true,” said climate scientist, If the current slows, more hot water could build up along the East Coast of the United States, leading to more coastal heat waves and rising sea levels. ICN provides award-winning climate coverage free of charge and advertising. ... How ocean solutions can combat climate change. The ocean has become significantly more stratified over the last half century as the climate has warmed, inhibiting the ability for heat, oxygen, and carbon dioxide from the surface to be transported deeper into the ocean, according to a new study. Those multi-year warm-cold fluctuations affect temperatures around the world, with global hot spikes during strong El Niños and cool-downs during La Niña. Le Quéré, C. and Metzl, N. (2004). A disruption could lead to major climate shifts. “We know that something like this happened during the early Holocene 9,000 or so years ago,” he said, but added that the new paper doesn’t identify specific impacts to the El Niño cycle. The results highlight a new connection between eddy activity, Arctic ice, and ocean stratification, that can now be factored into climate models to produce more accurate predictions of Arctic evolution with climate change. Science, 316, 1735-1738; published online May 16, 2007. Both changes could cause harm to ocean ecosystems. “For example it reduces the oxygen supply to the waters below the ocean surface, which is bad for marine life. The interaction between climate and oceans is altering, and the exchange is intensifying. view more. News; Investigations. This has major consequences for life in the ocean by reducing nutrients and oxygen, and it greatly affects climate. Mitigation. The increase in stratification is primarily due to the increase in surface temperature, whose influence upon density is largest in the tropical regions, and decreases with increasing latitude. provides eligible reporters with free access to embargoed and breaking news releases. This observed long-term increasing trend of stratification is mainly caused by stronger ocean warming for upper layers versus the deep oceans (~97%), but salinity changes play an important role locally. At the front line of climate change, the ocean, the coastlines and coastal communities are being disproportionately impacted by increasing carbon dioxide (CO 2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human activities. Warmer ocean surface waters result in increased ocean stratification, which means less ocean mixing, which normally would help deliver oxygen from surface waters to the deep. That increasingly distinct warm layer on the surface can intensify tropical storms, disrupt fisheries, interfere with the ocean absorption of carbon and deplete oxygen, The intensified layering, called ocean stratification, is happening faster than scientists expected, an international team of researchers reported in the, The researchers found that, overall, stratification in the upper 600 feet of the ocean increased by 6 percent in the last 50 years.

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