New research carried out by and published in the journal Science (University press release) is providing fascinating new insights about how the heat content of the oceans have been changing over the last few thousand years, as well as providing yet more evidence that the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age were global and not regional events.
The research involves looking for proxy historical data for the temperature of a region of the Pacific in Indonesia. This is regarded as an important stretch of water because it acts as a crossroads between extensive water masses from the northern and southern hemispheres and as such measurements made in one locale represent a much larger volume of ocean.
The work builds on the paper by Oppo et al (2009) in Nature (and see here) that studied the so-called Pacific Warm Pool – the greatest collection of warm water on Earth – and found evidence of the global extent of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.
Understanding how the heat content of the oceans is vital to understanding global climate change. It is believed that most – 90% – of the energy from the Earth’s energy imbalance due to man-made fossil fuels goes into the oceans and not the surface. Hence some scientists have been looking to the ocean depths to find where the energy has gone during the remarkable 16-year long pause in surface temperatures.
The current researchers looked at the isotopic signature (magnesium calcium ratio) found in the remains of shells of a certain species of marine animal – hyalinea balthica. Click on image to enlarge.
More incl links here: http://www.thegwpf.org/happening-oceans/
Discuss about the oceans and seas.
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