Ocean Warming, salinity and frequency of cyclones

General news0


I recommend you read the enclosed reports.

Regarding your specific comments:

1. The oceans continue to warm, as in figure 3 in Steffen’s report but warming is not homogeneous, i.e. Greenland and Antarctic ice melt results in regions of cold ice melt water. Salinity increases not only due to ocean warming but also consequent on ocean currents from warm regions reaching colder high latitudes. I am not clear therefore on what basis you write “Cyclones could feasibly reduce in frequency since the oceans may be less warm?”

2. Warming of ocean water decreases their capacity to sequester CO2.

Among other Steffen’s report states:

Ocean temperature

Although there is a very strong focus on air and sea

surface temperature in both the climate research

community and the general public, ocean temperature

is a better measure of changes in the climate system.

More tha n 85% of the

additi onal heat due to the

ener gy imbala nce at the

Earth ’s surface is absorbed

by the ocea n (IPCC 2007a).

Since the 1960s measurements of the heat content of the

upper 700 m of the ocean have been available, and since

2004, measurements to lower depths (up to 2 km) have

become widely available with the deployment of Argo

floats (Gould and the Argo Science Team 2004).

Figure 3 shows the record of ocean thermal expansion

from 1950 through 2008, showing the clear long-term

trend of warming (Domingues et al. 2008, and updates).

The Domingues et al. updated curve in this figure, which

uses the carefully checked and corrected Argo data of

Barker et al. (2011), indicates that multi-decadal warming

has continued to the end of the record in December 2008

(Church et al. 2011). This record is quantitatively

consistent with the observed rate of sea-level rise over

the past half-century. Although most of the additional

heat stored in the ocean is found in the upper 700 m,

recent observations show that warming of the deeper

ocean waters in both the Southern and Atlantic Oceans

is now occurring (Purkey and Johnson 2010)

From: Neville Gillmore [mailto:nevilleg729@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2012 1:18 PM
To: Andrew Glikson

Subject: Ocean warming, salinity and frequency of cyclones.



Since our oceans need be warm for cyclones to form, and we are seeing
scientific reports on Ocean Salinity increase. Cyclones could feasibly
reduce in frequency since the oceans may be less warm?

Will the carbon dioxide currently absorbed by our oceans decrease,
leaving more carbon pollution in the atmosphere?

Neville Gillmore

In order for a cyclone to form, the ocean waters need to be warm, at least 26°C. Above the warm ocean, water evaporates and form clouds. If there is low air pressure where the clouds are formed, it pulls them in and they begin to rotate. It is the Earth’s rotation and spinning on its axis that causes the cyclone’s clouds to rotate. Clouds will continue to form and begin spinning more.

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