Global warming “slowdown” explained

“Global warming slowdown answer lies in depths of Atlantic, study finds

“Excess heat being stored hundreds of metres down in Atlantic and Southern oceans – not Pacific as previously thought”

This article, or rather the study it pertains to, will be seized upon by climate change deniers, led by Lawson and his ilk in the UK, with shrieks of delight. They will doubtless seek to make it into yet more grist to the mill of their lies, half-truths and utterly shameful obstructionism.

The temptation for Joe Blogs will be to shake his head in bewilder-ment and conclude yet again that the experts can’t agree among themselves. In fact nothing could be further from the truth, as is clear from the authors’ own abstract of their work:

A vacillating global heat sink at intermediate ocean depths is associated with different climate regimes of surface warming under anthropogenic forcing: The latter part of the 20th century saw rapid global warming as more heat stayed near the surface. In the 21st century, surface warming slowed as more heat moved into deeper oceans. In situ and reanalyzed data are used to trace the pathways of ocean heat uptake. In addition to the shallow La Niña–like patterns in the Pacific that were the previous focus, we found that the slowdown is mainly caused by heat transported to deeper layers in the Atlantic and the Southern oceans, initiated by a recurrent salinity anomaly in the subpolar North Atlantic. Cooling periods associated with the latter deeper heat-sequestration mechanism historically lasted 20 to 35 years.

In other words:

1. — System Earth taken as a whole is still warming.

2. — The cause of that warming is anthropogenic forcing, i.e. man-made CO2 emissions.

3. — The Earth’s natural plumbing system is temporarily directing that heat to deeper parts of different oceans than was previously thought.

4. — This tendency will probably last another 15 years or so, after which increasing surface temperatures will resume their acceleration.

What they don’t say — because it’s beyond their brief and because it’s so bloody obvious anyway — is that we don’t know what the absorption of all heat by deeper ocean levels will lead to, but it’s unlikely to be doing any good.

In short, the problem has not been solved, it’s been temporarily displaced; and don’t let Lawson and his fellow nutters convince you other wise.

2 thoughts on “Global warming “slowdown” explained

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