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Stronger Trade Winds Brought Warming Pause: StudyFebruary 21, 2014
Satellite Image
Sea-surface temperature anomaly graphic. Stronger Pacific trade winds churned excess heat from greenhouse warming into the deep oceans. The resulting currents also brought cooler waters to the surface. Both heat transfers have caused a pause in land-surface warming.
A new and detailed study into the recent 13-year pause in the rise of global surface temperatures points to stronger trade winds in the central Pacific as a primary cause.

Scientists recently explained that the deep oceans have been absorbing the brunt of excess solar radiation due to higher greenhouse gas levels. But they didn’t know exactly how that was happening.

Research just published in Nature Climate Change shows that the strengthening of the trade winds has churned the Pacific so much that heat is being drawn from the air down to waters between about 300 and 1,000 feet in depth.

The same churning brings up cooler waters from the deep, cooling the air above the ocean surface.

Further accumulation of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere is expected to eventually overpower the factors behind the pause in global warming.

Image: NOAA