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Global Warming Can Trigger Extreme Ocean, Climate Changes

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posted on Jan, 6 2006 @ 01:03 AM
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Global Warming Can Trigger Extreme Ocean, Climate Changes, Scripps-led Study Reveals

New research produced by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, helps illustrate how global warming caused by greenhouse gases can quickly disrupt ocean processes and lead to drastic climatological, biological and other important changes around the world. Although the events described in the research unfolded millions of years ago and spanned thousands of years, the researchers say the findings provide clues to help better understand the long-term impacts of today's human-influenced climate warming...

The unique data set they constructed uncovered for the first time a monumental reversal in the circulation of deep-ocean patterns around the world and helped the researchers conclude that it was triggered by the global warming the world experienced at the time. The research, published in the January 5 edition of the journal Nature, is one of the few historical analogs for large-scale sea circulation changes tied to global warming...

The results revealed that deep-ocean circulation abruptly switched from "overturning"—a conveyor belt-like process in which cold and salty water exchanges with warm surface water—in the Southern Hemisphere, where it virtually shut down, and became active in the Northern Hemisphere. The researchers believe this shift drove unusually warm water to the deep sea, likely releasing stores of methane gas that led to further global warming and a massive die off in deep sea marine life...

In the paper, the authors note that modern carbon dioxide input from fossil fuel sources to the earth's surface is approaching the same levels estimated for the PETM period...



This is not good news. Of course I understand that it is not definitive, but it does not make me feel any better that we keep confirming the possibility of such catastrophic outcomes.




 
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