Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

Trade winds cause hiatus

  • Written by  Olivia Edward
  • Published in Climate
Trade winds cause hiatus Shutterstock
01 Apr
2014
A new study published in Nature Climate Change suggests that an unprecedented strengthening of the equatorial trade winds has played a major role in the observed pause in surface warming

According to the study’s authors, the acceleration of the winds has invigorated the circulation of the Pacific Ocean, increasing the amount of heat being taken out of the atmosphere and transferred into the subsurface ocean, while also bringing cooler waters to the surface.

‘Scientists have long suspected that extra ocean heat uptake has slowed the rise of global average temperatures, but the mechanism behind the hiatus remained unclear,’ said the study’s lead author, Matthew England of the University of New South Wales. ‘But the heat uptake is by no means permanent: when the trade wind strength returns to normal – as it inevitably will – our research suggests that heat will quickly accumulate in the atmosphere. So global temperatures look set to rise rapidly out of the hiatus, returning to the levels projected within as little as a decade.

‘The winds lead to extra ocean heat uptake, which stalled warming of the atmosphere,’ England continued. ‘Accounting for this wind intensification in model projections produces a hiatus in global warming that is in striking agreement with observations.’

This story was published in the April 2014 edition of Geographical Magazine

Related items

Subscribe and Save!

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter today and get a FREE eBook collection!

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in NATURE...

Wildlife

A look at the contribution of hippos to the savannah…

Wildlife

The new app encourages young children to connect with the…

Energy

A type of panel has been invented that can generate…

Tectonics

In the 4th century BC, Aristotle proposed that earthquakes were…

Climate

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management pledges to achieve net…

Tectonics

Earthquakes from time immemorial have attracted the attention of the…

Tectonics

A planned kayaking expedition in Nepal took on a whole…

Tectonics

Scientists from Bristol University are working in conjunction with EDF…

Tectonics

In the 1930s, Charles Richter developed a simple scale for…

Tectonics

Researchers at Colombia University have answered a question that has…

Tectonics

How prepared can any government or city be against a…

Tectonics

Benjamin Hennig creates a series of cartograms to demonstrate the…

Wildlife

Could grey seals singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star help develop…

Climate

Deep sea expert Dr Alex Rogers explains the importance of…

Oceans

Analysis of coral cores, extracted from coral reefs in the…

Wildlife

Celebrities and animal welfare groups have been expressing their disappointment…

Geophoto

In a series of photographs from his recent trip to…