New data helps show El Nino occurrences during the Medieval Climate Anomaly and Little Ice Age

New data helps show El Nino occurrences during the Medieval Climate Anomaly and Little Ice Age
Sediment-water interface from a Galápagos multicore. Credit: A. Koutavas
(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with affiliations to several universities in the U.S. has helped uncover the frequency of El Niño events during the Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age by obtaining Eastern Pacific Ocean sediment samples. As they note in their paper published in the journal Science, the new data helps to better understand El Niño events in general and may help to predict their occurrences and impact in the future.

Understanding how El Niño events come about would go a long way towards predicting when they might occur, helping people living in countries that are impacted by such events better prepare—those in places such as Indonesia typically experience hotter and dryer temperature conditions (leading to ), while those places like North and South America experience the opposite (leading to storms and flooding). To that end, the researchers with this new effort sought to fill in a gap in the historical record regarding such events—the time during and just before the Little Ice Age. Such information has been scarce due to the difficulty in obtaining seafloor sediment samples in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. In this new effort, the researchers report on their successful efforts to gather such examples off the shores of the Galapagos Islands, what the samples revealed, and how they helped reveal the history of El Niño events during a time period from approximately five hundred to fifteen hundred years ago.

The team reports that the showed that the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean warmed during the period 900 to 1150 CE (the Medieval Climate Anomaly), but then cooled from 1150 to 1500 CE (during the Little Ice Age)—that would have led to increased volatility, more El Niño events and a change to the surface temperature gradient, because of cooling occurring more rapidly in the east. After that, things quieted, but, the team notes, the changes in surface temperatures would have caused the Pacific Intertropical Convergence Zones to shift at the point where the trade winds run into each other.

New data helps show El Nino occurrences during the Medieval Climate Anomaly and Little Ice Age
The research vessel Knorr anchored off Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos. Credit: A. Koutavas

The more historical data scientists can collect regarding surface temperatures the better they will be able to plot El Niño events over time, making it easier to predict them in the future.


Explore further

Different types of El Nino have different effects on global temperature

More information: G. T. Rustic et al. Dynamical excitation of the tropical Pacific Ocean and ENSO variability by Little Ice Age cooling, Science (2015). DOI: 10.1126/science.aac9937

ABSTRACT
Tropical Pacific Ocean dynamics during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) and Little Ice Age (LIA) are poorly characterized due to lack of evidence from the eastern equatorial Pacific. We reconstructed sea surface temperature, El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) activity, and the tropical Pacific zonal gradient for the past millennium from Galápagos ocean sediments. We document a "Mid-Millennium Shift" (MMS) in ocean-atmosphere circulation ~1500-1650 CE, from a state with strong zonal gradient and dampened ENSO to one with weak gradient and amplified ENSO. The MMS coincided with deepest LIA cooling and was likely caused by southward shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. Peak MCA (900-1150 CE) was a warm period in the eastern Pacific, contradicting the paradigm of a persistent La Niña pattern.

Journal information: Science

© 2015 Phys.org

Citation: New data helps show El Nino occurrences during the Medieval Climate Anomaly and Little Ice Age (2015, December 4) retrieved 23 May 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-12-el-nino-occurrences-medieval-climate.html
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Dec 04, 2015
I guess these heretics did not get the memo. According to AGW Cult lore, the MWP never happened.

Dec 05, 2015
Hmm... where are the Chicken Littles?

Dec 05, 2015
Hmm... where are the Chicken Littles?


Prolly smiling to themselves, auntie griselda, with quiet amusement..as they note your querulous discomfiture at having shown up with such obvious anticipation at what turns out to be a party of one.

This study only remarks upon the El Nino/La Nina activity during the time to which you make reference in your erroneous claim in your first comment.

Or perhaps it's only that you need a diaper change.

That never fails you set you asquawk.

Dec 05, 2015
Hmm... where are the Chicken Littles?


Prolly smiling to themselves, auntie griselda, with quiet amusement..as they note your querulous discomfiture at having shown up with such obvious anticipation at what turns out to be a party of one.

This study only remarks upon the El Nino/La Nina activity during the time to which you make reference in your erroneous claim in your first comment.

Or perhaps it's only that you need a diaper change.

That never fails you set you asquawk.

Dec 05, 2015
Come on Chicken Littles, remove those donkey blinders and take a gander at reality for a change.

Dec 05, 2015
Come on Chicken Littles, remove those donkey blinders and take a gander at reality for a change.


The only Reality you are acquainted with, auntie gizzard, is the contents of your soiled diaper.

No one is interested in "taking a gander" at this Gizzard Reality.

Dec 06, 2015
I guess these heretics did not get the memo. According to AGW Cult lore, the MWP never happened.


Oh, FFS, if you're going to spout bullshit at least base it on something. Nobody ever said the MWP didn't happen. It just wasn't global. For the thousandth time. How about you update your repetitive inanities? Because right now you're repeating ones from 2009.


Dec 06, 2015
Poor Chicken Littles willfully choosing to only see their delusional world through their donkey blinders. Here is a scientific study linking the MWP with El Nino and it's global effect on climate which we are experiencing this very day. Yet, they persist in their ignorance that the MWP wasn't global.
Bray....bray.... Chicken Littles.

Dec 06, 2015
Come on Chicken Littles, remove those donkey blinders

I'm going to have to stop you there. It would be a disservice to my Amish friends to not correct you. They are referred to as "blinkers" not "blinders" and are used to prevent the donkey pulling the cart from being scared senseless of every passing loud noise and bright color, you know, like you are.

Dec 06, 2015
Geez, dude, learn to read.

Dec 06, 2015
Come on Chicken Littles, remove those donkey blinders

I'm going to have to stop you there. It would be a disservice to my Amish friends to not correct you. They are referred to as "blinkers" not "blinders" and are used to prevent the donkey pulling the cart from being scared senseless of every passing loud noise and bright color, you know, like you are.

Poor donkey, just proves my point.
https://www.googl...blinders

Dec 06, 2015
Come on Chicken Littles, remove those donkey blinders

I'm going to have to stop you there. It would be a disservice to my Amish friends to not correct you. They are referred to as "blinkers" not "blinders" and are used to prevent the donkey pulling the cart from being scared senseless of every passing loud noise and bright color, you know, like you are.

Poor donkey, just proves my point.
https://www.googl...blinders


Blinkers, blinders --just a matter of usage.

What des auntie gizzard use?

Diaper-soil goggles.

Dec 06, 2015
Poor donkey, just proves my point.

Donkeys are auspicious creatures and deserve your appreciation, not relegation of their kind to an implied insult of subhumanity.
http://www.thedon...blinkers
Every day I refuse to refer to you moon-howlers as blatantly sub-sentient due to my respect for many forms of sub-sentient life. Please keep your personal attacks personal, and don't drag in any innocent life forms, especially the better ones than yourself.

Dec 06, 2015
My apologies to donkeys, for associating these Chicken Littles jackasses, with you.

Dec 06, 2015
jackasses

Now you just sound racist against donkeys. Since you communicate 100% in rhetoric, you should look up the word "ethos" and work on it.

Dec 06, 2015
My sincerest apologies to jackasses for reducing you to the level of these Chicken Little morons.

Dec 08, 2015
My sincerest apologies to jackasses for reducing you to the level of these Chicken Little morons.


auntie gizzard, it is always considered bad form to number oneself in a group being tendered an apology.

For the simple reason that it smacks of insincerity.

Perhaps if you were to clean your diaper-soil goggles you could perceive this critical distinction.

A long shot, I know. But go ahead and give it a try.

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