Feeds

Mid-Atlantic Ocean temperatures peaked in 1998

Cooling since then 'not caused by climate change'

The next step in data security

The water temperature in the subtropical Atlantic Ocean has cooled down since 1998, oceanographers report. Measurements since 1957 had shown a rise of more than ¼ of a degree up to that point, but between 1998 and 2006 the ocean stopped warming and cooled by 0.15°C in the same area.

The measurements of sea temperature were carried out along the parallel 24.5 degrees of latitude north of the equator running from the African coast to the Caribbean by Spanish government oceanographers. The oceanographers used a network of "Argo" instrument buoys and survey vessels. The scientists describe the cooling as "unusual".

"The ocean's natural variability mechanisms are more significant than we thought," says Pedro Joaquín Vélez Belchí of Spain's Canarian Oceanography Centre.

In the opinion of Vélez Belchí and his colleagues, the drop in temperature seen in the mid-Atlantic cannot be put down to climate change – in particular they don't consider that meltwater from glaciers or the polar cap is responsible. If that had been the underlying cause, a corresponding temperature drop "should have been observed clearly in the areas close to the North Pole", he says – and none was.

Rather, the oceanographers consider that the cooling may have resulted from wind-driven alterations in the circulation of water.

"Changes in the global structure of winds in the north Atlantic cause oscillations on the ocean's surface layer which can be felt up to 2,000 metres deep," notes Vélez Belchí.

Outline details of the research were announced by the Spanish Foundation of Science and Technology (FECYT) yesterday, ahead of a further expedition intended to glean more data. A study by Vélez Belchí and his colleagues was published in the Journal of Physical Oceanography recently. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.