Atlantic warming kicks up record Pacific trade winds
"Rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean is "turbocharging" Pacific equatorial trade winds, according to new research.These are the strongest trade winds since recording began in the 1860s, according to scientists from the University of New South Wales and the University of Hawaii.
"The increase in these winds has ... amplified the Californian drought, accelerated sea level rise three times faster than the global average in the Western Pacific and has slowed the rise of global average surface temperatures since 2001," say the researchers.
Their findings are published today in the journal Nature Climate Change .
The rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean basin has created a surprising pressure difference between the Atlantic and Pacific, the researchers say.
This difference has produced wind anomalies that cause the Pacific equatorial trade winds to intensify.
"We were surprised to find the main cause of the Pacific climate trends of the past 20 years had its origin in the Atlantic Ocean," says co-lead author Shayne McGregor, of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of New South Wales.
"It highlights how changes in the climate in one part of the world can have extensive impacts around the globe."
Research published earlier this year suggested the intensified trade winds were trapping heat from the air in the ocean, slowing the warming of global surface temperature."
Thanks to ABC NEWS
Retrieved: 6th of Aug 2014 6:50 am Australian time