Atlantic currents have seen 'drastic' changes: study

Jan 04, 2011
A woman celebrates after participating in the annual Coney Island Polar Bear Club New Year's Day swim in New York. Scientists have found evidence of a "drastic" shift since the 1970s in north Atlantic Ocean currents that usually influence weather in the northern hemisphere, Swiss researchers say.

Scientists have found evidence of a "drastic" shift since the 1970s in north Atlantic Ocean currents that usually influence weather in the northern hemisphere, Swiss researchers said on Tuesday.

The team of biochemists and from Switzerland, Canada and the United States detected changes in deep sea Atlantic corals that indicated the declining influence of the cold northern Labrador Current.

They said in the US National Academy of Science journal PNAS that the change "since the early 1970s is largely unique in the context of the last approximately 1,800 years," and raised the prospect of a direct link with global warming.

The Labrador Current interacts with the warmer Gulfstream from the south.

They in turn have a complex interaction with a , the , which has a dominant impact on weather in Europe and North America.

Scientists have pointed to a disruption or shifts in the oscillation as an explanation for moist or harsh winters in Europe, or severe summer droughts such as in Russia, in recent years.

One of the five scientists, Carsten Schubert, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Acquatic Sciences and Technology (EAWAG), underlined that for nearly 2,000 years the sub polar Labrador current off northern Canada and Newfoundland was the dominant force.

However that pattern appeared to have only been repeated occasionally in recent decades.

"Now the southern current has taken over, it's really a drastic change," Schubert told AFP, pointing to the evidence of the shift towards warmer water in the northwest Atlantic.

The research was based on nitrogen isotope signatures in 700 year old on the ocean floor, which feed on sinking organic particles.

While water pushed by the Gulfstream is salty and rich in nutrients, the colder Arctic waters carried by the Labrador current contain fewer nutrients.

Changes could be dated because of the natural growth rings seen in corals.

"The researchers suspect there is a direct connection between the changes in oceanic currents in the North Atlantic and global warming caused by human activities," said EAWAG in a statement.

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phlipper
2.1 / 5 (34) Jan 04, 2011
"The researchers suspect there is a direct connection between the changes in oceanic currents in the North Atlantic and global warming caused by human activities," said EAWAG in a statement.

Laughable - sickening and laughable. What happened? They weren't going to publish you if you didn't add a little nonsense at the end. What has happened to science? Do you guys have no pride at all? Why would you write that statment, when we knew before we read it that it would be there? Aren't we supposed to know, by now, that such conclusions are a given and to be understood? Who do you think you're writing to - third grade dropouts? You morons make me want to puke - which is hard to do when you're laughing your butt off. If you had any courage at all, you wouldn't have waited to the end to pull the hammer. Why not title the piece "Man Caused Global Warming Drastically Changes Atlantic Currents"? No huevos?
mycotropic
3.9 / 5 (23) Jan 04, 2011
Phlipper, did you even take the time to read the PNAS article? The authors clearly discuss why they see changes on a human time scale in the Discussion section. Taking statements out of context is a classic denier approach as it is bad science, something they excel at. Also the authors didn't "wait until the end to pull the hammer", the Materials and Methods section comes after the Discussion section.

The actual article is available on the PNAS website as a PDF, simply search for the authors name.

Download the PDF and read it and then post again if you care to present yourself as professional rather than absurd.
sstritt
2.7 / 5 (30) Jan 04, 2011
I have a suggestion to save time. Just use this boiler plate summary statement for all future articles:

"The researchers suspect there is a direct connection between _______ and global warming caused by human activities."
mycotropic
3.6 / 5 (11) Jan 04, 2011
I haven't seen a recent PNOS article on the environment, discussing events on a human scale, that was based on another premise. Not a critique, simply that human involvement is broadly observed by scientist that actually work in the field. The null hypothesis in the case of these analyses is that change is not happening on a human scale and that null hypothesis is regularly rejected. Thus the premise suggested by phlipper (change is not on a human scale) is regularly tested and rejected rather than being ignored.

Given the above; making the boilerplate statement is repetitive and pointless.
jmcanoy1860
3.6 / 5 (14) Jan 04, 2011
The association with global warming is pretty obvious. The oceanic currents depend not only on the temperature but of the salinity of the polar ice melts. Deviations in the melts result in significant problems with the major ocean currents.
joefarah
1.9 / 5 (17) Jan 04, 2011
Wait - you can't publish that - there wasn't enough human activity by the early '70s to ensure it was the Humans who caused the change. Please republish and replace early '70s with early '90s so that CC "science" is not invalidated.
ormondotvos
4 / 5 (14) Jan 04, 2011
Don't be surprised. Deniers tell people what they want to hear, and therefore are supported.

Global warming is bad news. As the carrier of bad news, expect to be assassinated.

'Twas ever thus. Nobody likes a party pooper, and the Western Consumerist Party has been fun, fer sure!

I feel so lucky to have enjoyed the party. Now I die, and the kids can pull their eyes off the iPhone and get a serious, tough, low-paying job like all the people we've screwed for so long.

Globalization, it's what's for dinner.
sstritt
2.7 / 5 (14) Jan 04, 2011
Don't be surprised. Deniers tell people what they want to hear, and therefore are supported.


I'm a skeptic, not a "denier". BIG difference. Remember, ALL empirical knowledge is subject to revision.

Global warming is bad news

How can you be sure? Would you have rather lived in Europe during the medieval warm period or little ice age? We've been told its bad by those who have an interest in promoting the idea. Be a skeptic!
vidar_lund
3.8 / 5 (10) Jan 04, 2011
@ phlipper

Is it unfair to speculate that the huge release of greenhouse gasses might have an impact on observed changes in the ocean currents?
What is sickening is not the alarmist scientists but the people that question every single conclusion just because the evidence isn't 100% confirmed. If you want proof of the destructive power of greenhouse gasses then read about the past mass extinctions, especially the Permian 'great dying' 250 mill years ago and the more recent Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum
Howhot
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 05, 2011
A team of "biochemists and oceanographers from Switzerland, Canada and the United States detected changes in deep sea Atlantic corals that indicated the declining influence of the cold northern Labrador Current."

And if one lookups the Labrador Current, you will find it is the current that comes from the Artic Ocean. Given that man made CO2 is warming and heating the Artic a lot, and in greater proportion than the lower latitudes, it seems plausible that some currents might be effected by the additional heating.
Shootist
2.3 / 5 (12) Jan 05, 2011
For the last decade AGW was gonna cause the Gulf Stream to collapse.

Now the Gulf Stream has been shown to be dominant.

More "proof" of AGW.

vidar_lund
3.5 / 5 (8) Jan 05, 2011
@ sstritt
Global warming is bad news

How can you be sure? Would you have rather lived in Europe during the medieval warm period or little ice age? We've been told its bad by those who have an interest in promoting the idea. Be a skeptic!

Well, the CO2 levels are rising at about 2.5ppm per year and the increase shows no sign of slowing down. That will add 250ppm in 100 years if we manage to stabilize the emissions. If the situation is left un-handled we might reach atmospheric levels of 1000ppm in 250 years or earlier. - to be continued
vidar_lund
3 / 5 (8) Jan 05, 2011
This might not sound much but the release of carbon to the atmosphere is unprecedented even on a geological timescale - the biggest flood basalt eruptions of the past (Siberian Traps, Deccan Traps) cannot match this rapid increase in greenhouse gases. If the resulting heat wave triggers a release of massive amounts of Methane from Siberia and the Ocean floor clathrates I'm afraid you will get a little more heating than you asked for. But this would probably not happen in another thousand years so who cares.
dogbert
2.1 / 5 (15) Jan 05, 2011
We must always be clear that the (whatever) is caused by anthropogenic global warming (not just global warming).

Warm weather is caused by AGW.
Cold weather is caused by AGW.
Wet weather is caused by AGW.
Dry weather is caused by AGW.

Normal weather is just a fluke soon to be corrected by AGW.

We even find earthquakes and volcanoes attributed to AGW. Doubtless most traffic fatalities are caused by AGw (with the remainder due to secondhand smoke).

We have been coming out of an ice age for 10,000 years. A generalized warming has been happening for 10,000 years (most of which time human beings were not industrial).

For anyone to point out that the world has been warming for thousands of years is OK. To attribute everything to warming caused by human activity is a political and social statement. It is not a scientific statement.
mycotropic
4 / 5 (8) Jan 05, 2011
Dogbert you would likely benefit from reading more. Like, say the article in question. Could you point to parts of this specific article that do meet your level of scientific rigor? Which parts of this paper showing changes on a human industrial time scale that are outside the range of change for pre-industrial times specifically are you questioning?
dogbert
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 05, 2011
mycotropic,

You should try to learn the difference between political pandering and science.
Howhot
1.8 / 5 (4) Jan 05, 2011
"Warm weather is caused by AGW.
Cold weather is caused by AGW.
Wet weather is caused by AGW.
Dry weather is caused by AGW." from dogbert.

If you put extreme or abnormal. in front of each line, I would agree.
dogbert
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 05, 2011
If you put extreme or abnormal. in front of each line, I would agree.


I wouldn't. You shouldn't either. No one has ever demonstrated that our climate (including any climate changes) are due to anything other than natural cycles. At no time has human activity been demonstrated to have any significant effect.
Howhot
2.6 / 5 (7) Jan 05, 2011
dogbert, right now, AGW (man made industrial global warming) is just beginning. Just wait 20 years.
Howhot
2 / 5 (4) Jan 05, 2011
dogbert; "No one has ever demonstrated that our climate (including any climate changes) are due to anything other than natural cycles. "

Then what are we debating? That is exactly what is going on. And are you being told to post here by some politically connected group? Just curious.
dogbert
1.9 / 5 (14) Jan 06, 2011
HowHot,

Why are you promoting the political, social agenda of AGW?

BTW, prophecy is not an aspect of science. You cannot know (by any scientific method) the specific near future climate of this planet. Your statement about the effect of AGW 20 years from now is blatant political pandering.
Howhot
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 06, 2011
@Dogbert, you claim that "No one has ever demonstrated that our climate (including any climate changes) are due to anything other than natural cycles.", but the heat island effect is completely do to man made industrial warm. AGW is just a larger scale version.

CO2 is a green house gas (as is methane b.t.w) I've seen Jr High School Science Fair projects demonstrate CO2 as a greenhouse gas that demonstrated Temps correlated to CO2 concentration. Yeap, a 12year old knows more about the issue than you do.

Vindar_lund is right. Projections of CO2 (made by scientists) do not forecast a pleasant future 20 to 40 years out.

That Dogbert, (and to the other anti-earth, pollution loving, mercury crazed idiots) You need to quit posting crap on science forums. You POS.


sstritt
2.3 / 5 (6) Jan 06, 2011
Heat island effect has nothing to do with CO2 levels, however many weather stations are unfortunately located within heat islands. Care to comment, comrade Hotnot?
dogbert
2.2 / 5 (10) Jan 07, 2011
Howhot,

In typical fashion, when your argument fails (as it must, being predicated on social/political agenda rather than science), you fall back on attacking personalities.

It is sad when you so plainly demonstrate your failings.
Howhot
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 07, 2011
@sstrutt; well according to dogbert, nothing man-made effects climate; I was just pointing out that, no, the heat island effect demonstrates man-made climate change. It's is obviously on a smaller scale; but the micro-environment in the heat island is effected. A good example was the 1970's (killer) smogs of LA.

It's that same concept but expanded to global levels; with CO2 as the pollutant generated mostly coal and fossil fuels. Coal and the Fossil fuels basically are earths buried CO2 sink for the past 100million years that we are releasing all at once with in the past 100 years or so.

CO2 as a molecule (as is Methane CH4) absorbs infrared radiation; and re-admits it. It's a green house gas after all. That causes an excess of infrared radiation being reflected back to earth to heat it. It acts just like a giant blanket that keeps Earth hotter than it should be.

Howhot
1 / 5 (2) Jan 07, 2011
@dogbert; to reply to your observation that I will attack personalities; get used to it. It's just the web.
dogbert
1.4 / 5 (9) Jan 08, 2011
Howhot,

well according to dogbert, nothing man-made effects climate;


No, you claim (with no scientific basis) that global warming is the result of human activity. I merely point out that there is no scientific basis for your claim.

And attacking personalities is not a function of the Web, it is an indication that the writer has no argument and must attack individuals in order to pretend to have a point.
Blakut
3 / 5 (2) Jan 08, 2011
Heh... boobies...
Eric_B
2.3 / 5 (6) Jan 08, 2011
dogbert
"No, you claim (with no scientific basis) that global warming is the result of human activity. I merely point out that there is no scientific basis for your claim."

Your corporate masters have done well putting you through OBEDIENCE SCHOOL!

Global Warming by CO2 is an established fact -AND- it is a naturally occurring, ongoing phenomenon.

The only question is how much influence are we having by putting billions of tons of carbon in the air per year.

The only people with a destructive social/political/economic agenda are those who say there should be no accountability or action on the issue.

Unless we want to call caring about the future a destructive agenda...

Modernmystic
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 08, 2011
dogbert
"No, you claim (with no scientific basis) that global warming is the result of human activity. I merely point out that there is no scientific basis for your claim."

Your corporate masters have done well putting you through OBEDIENCE SCHOOL!


Hey dogbert, I'd like to have some corporate masters too...where does one apply? I'd like to be paid to skulk the internet and pander to their interests. Recently I've come to the conclusion I have certain materialistic needs and my current salary isn't cutting it.

Please let me know where the corporate lackey recruitment offices are for the Western United States. I'll prepare my resume.

/sarcasm

Do people REALLY think that when they put the word "corporate" in an argument it confers validity? Really?
thermodynamics
3 / 5 (2) Jan 09, 2011
This blog has taken on a very interesting and top-heavy effect. Those in the deiner catogory are saying that humans have of provavly effect on temperature rise. OTOH, the boosters are saying that global warming is occurring and that human influence has an important part in that.

So, let's see if either side of the argument can even form a testable question related to their point of view, site evidence and "CRUSH" the other point of view.

I'll actually be looking carefully for some testable issues - and even ones that have conclusions from the issues, the way those issues have come out.

Just a chip at the wall matters. Positive or negative on the proposed testable sections here will do little but everyone should be given. Make some proposals, see if they are test able, test them, see which side the weight
dogbert
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 09, 2011
Eric B
Your corporate masters have done well putting you through OBEDIENCE SCHOOL!

Global Warming by CO2 is an established fact -AND- it is a naturally occurring, ongoing phenomenon.


1) I don't have any corporate masters. And why do you need to scream OBEDIENCE SCHOOL?

2) I never claimed that CO2 was not capable/responsible for increased temperatures. I said there is no scientific evidence that human activity has effected the earth's climate.

thermodynamics,

Your question is interesting. Note, however, that the burden of proof resides with those who make the claim, not those who find no evidence for the claim.

In point of fact, AGW is a tool for political/social agenda. Of course, that does not mean that there is no anthropogenic global warming, but it does mean that there must be clear and compelling proof to overcome the obvious political agenda.
Montec
not rated yet Jan 09, 2011
"Greenhouse gases" govern the rate at which energy is transported to and from the atmosphere (which is mostly N2 and O2). Atmospheric pressure governs the atmospheres ability to store energy (ambient temperature).
danlgarmstrong
not rated yet Jan 10, 2011
At no time has human activity been demonstrated to have any significant effect.


@dogbert:
This seems to be your main argument. I disagree. There have been many studies done that directly link the measurable rise in global average temperature to the increase in CO2 generated by more than 100 years of industrial activity. These are peer reviewed scientific reports, open to public scrutinity. I am not sure why you refuse to admit their existence. A simple Wikipoedia search will link you to many such reports:
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change
seb
1 / 5 (1) Jan 10, 2011
The notion that manmade global warming is some kind of political agenda is incredibly silly.

It wasn't when the subject was first brought up, decades ago.. and for the vast vast majority of the scientists involved, there are no ties to politics.

The idea that man-made global warming is some kind of hoax is idiotic. Of all of the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people involved.. that would have been leaked long ago eh?

People who go on about such things come off as saying something along the lines of "it's my way of life, and I ain't changing it for no one for no reason!". Typical human selfish behavior.

When, in the history of the planet, has any one species polluted and altered the planet in such an enormous way, since the start of the industrial revolution? Maybe it's a problem of scale? The semi-closed system involved is so gigantic, the outside influence (us) so suddenly plentiful, that I assume most of us just don't have the capacity to grasp the magnitude of it.
seb
1 / 5 (1) Jan 10, 2011
Oh and you want political agenda in relation to global warming? Try the billions of $ at the disposal of those who stand to lose the most from any kind of paradigm shift.. The energy industry. Those with the most to gain by convincing the world the status quo should remain.

Think about that.

Just like how the tobacco industry tried to convince people smoking was super healthy and good, back when people started getting a clue (yes i am a smoker.. i know it's not healthy from personal experience heh)
dogbert
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 10, 2011
seb,

Carbon credits are just another way to extract money from developed countries and transfer them to undeveloped countries. It is plainly a social agenda and has been from the start.
Paljor
1 / 5 (1) Jan 13, 2011
Have you doubters looked at a temperature timeline at all? look at the 1800's right there it starts to shoot up RAPIDLY not casually like it was doing!