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Global Warming weakening the trade winds.

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posted on May, 4 2006 @ 09:46 AM
Trade winds, the winds which bring rains to the west and churn up the oceans, are weakening as global warming disrupts normal atmospheric circulation.

Scientists fear that as the winds lose their puff, weather patterns will become less predictable and marine organisms will suffer, as fewer vital nutrients are forced up to the surface from the ocean depths.

Article continues
Gabriel Vecchi, a climate scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in New Jersey, used air pressure records, including measurements from the Royal Navy dating back to the 1860s, to work out how a major air current, known as the Walker circulation, had changed with time, particularly since the Industrial Revolution.

The air current drives the Pacific Ocean's trade winds from the western coast of South America to Indonesia. Along the way, the winds pick up moisture from the warm waters, which falls as rain as the air rises over Indonesia.

The winds also directly affect the marine ecosystems of the Pacific. The trade winds pass over the water and pushes it setting up currents.
Since the 1850’s (Industrial Revolution) the trade winds have weakened 3.5% and is expected to fall by 10% by the year 2100.

posted on May, 4 2006 @ 11:18 AM
Weakening trade winds might explain the increased levels of drought throughout the world of late. Would also mean the storm cells that do develop would migrate slower and thus increase potential flooding, do to lower strengths of upper level steering winds.

Global warming weakens Pacific winds -Nature
Dwindling circulation could worsen El Niño effect.

Variations in the Walker circulation are one of the factors that lead to El Niño climate events. These periodic events, which feature a weakening of the easterly winds that blow from the Americas to Southeast Asia, have a range of effects, from droughts in Indonesia to poor fish harvests in Chile.

Short-term climate fluctuations give rise to an El Niño event every few years. But an overall weakening of the Walker system could cause an increase in the severity or frequency of these events, and some experts even fear that the Pacific could be plunged into a permanent El Niño.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Walker circulation -Wiki
El Niño-Southern Oscillation -Wiki

NOAA's El Niño site

How many more intangibles are yet to be discovered in regards to global warming?

posted on May, 4 2006 @ 11:37 AM

First the Gulfstream now the tradewinds.

How many intangibles indeed?


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