Science: Earth’s climate seesaws every 10,000 years
posted at 11:39 am on May 1, 2007 by Bryan
It’s going to take a lot of Pious drivers on the roads to fix this:
During the last 10,000 years climate has been seesawing between the North and South Atlantic Oceans. As revealed by findings presented by Quaternary scientists at Lund University, Sweden, cold periods in the north have corresponded to warmth in the south and vice verse. These results imply that Europe may face a slightly cooler future than predicted by IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change…
This is most certainly related to large-scale ocean circulation in the Atlantic Ocean. The main current system – “the Great Ocean Conveyor” – is driven by sinking of dense, relatively cold and salty water in the northern North Atlantic. This results in southward-flowing deep-water that is replaced by warm surface water brought to high northern latitudes from the tropics and ultimately from the South Atlantic, says Svante Björck, and continues:
The deep-water formation in the north is dependent on cooling of surface water with a high salt content. If sufficiently large amounts of fresh water are supplied to the North Atlantic, such as from melting ice-sheets or major increases in precipitation, the deep-water formation, and hence the transport of warm surface water from the south, may cease or at least decrease substantially.
This is known to have happened repeatedly during the present Interglacial (the warm period since the last Ice Age). Minor disturbances have taken place in recent time, such as the Great Salt Anomaly in the 1970s, which seriously affected the cod population around the Faroe Islands. Our results from Nightingale Island in the Tristan da Cunha island group, between South Africa and Argentina, for the first time give evidence of warming of the South Atlantic associated with cooling in the north. This is a major breakthrough in palaeoclimate research.
Don’t tell the Girl Scouts.