More dramatic climate extremes predicted in new scientific study

July 16, 2011 LONDON — Researchers at the Universities of Oxford and Leeds have discovered that the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the sloshing of the warmest waters on the planet from the West Pacific towards the East Pacific every 2-7 years, continued during Earth’s last great warm period, the Pliocene. Their results suggest that swings between the two climatic extremes, known as El Niño and La Niña, may even have occurred more frequently in the warmer past and may increase in frequency in the future. Extreme ENSO events cause droughts, forest fires and floods across much of the world as well as affecting fishery production. Reporting in the journal Paleoceanography, the team of geochemists and climate modellers use the Pliocene as a past analogue and predictor of the workings of Earth’s future climate. The Pliocene (which lasted from 5 to 3 million years ago) had carbon dioxide levels similar to the present day, with global mean temperatures about 2-3ºC higher, so it is a useful test-ground for climate research. Lead Scientist Nick Scroxton from Oxford University’s Department of Earth Sciences said: ‘We know from previous studies that the mean state of the Pacific during the warm Pliocene was similar to the climate patterns observed during a typical El Niño event that we see today. ‘However, until recently it was believed that a warmer Pacific would reduce the climate swings that cause the dramatic weather extremes throughout the region leading to a permanent state of El Niño. What we didn’t expect was that climatic variability would remain strong under these warmer conditions. This new study goes further, showing that the oscillation is Pacific-wide, and is likely to be caused by the El Niño/La Niña. This suggests that our warmer future will continue to be dogged, maybe even more regularly, by extreme climatic events. –Physics.org
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8 Responses to More dramatic climate extremes predicted in new scientific study

  1. luisport says:

    Friday, 15 July, 2011 at 15:58 UTC
    Description
    Croatian authorities have evacuated more than 200 people after fires engulfed pine forests on the Adriatic island of Brac. The state rescue service says dozens of firefighters sought on Friday to contain the fires, which have destroyed hundreds of hectares of forests and farmland. State TV reported that plumes of smoke could be seen from the coastal town of Split. Tourists and residents from the endangered area were evacuated late Thursday to other parts of the island. Croatia, like the rest of the Balkans and much of eastern Europe, has faced a heat wave with temperatures reaching 45 C in some areas.

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  2. luisport says:

    Off topic:
    7/16/2011

    A Japanese power firm said it would halt operations at a nuclear reactor because of a technical failure, placing further strain on the country’s power supply. Kansai Electric Power Co. said it would manually shut down reactor No. 1 at its Ooi plant in central Japan because of a temporary pressure drop in a standby tank. The tank contains boric acid solution that can be pumped in to slow nuclear fission in case of emergency. Pressure in the tank had already returned to the correct level, but the company decided to shut down the reactor “to give the top priority to safety and find out the cause,” a company spokesman said on Saturday. The company did not yet know when the reactor would resume operations, but there had been no radiation leak, he said. The stalled reactor is one of four at the Ooi plant and has a capacity of 1.18 million kilowatts. It provides four percent of the power generated by the company, according to Jiji Press news agency. Japan is already sweltering in the summer heat as it seeks to save electricity and avoid blackouts, with many nuclear reactors remaining shut after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Public sentiment flared up against nuclear power after the tsunami tore into the Fukushima Daiichi plant, triggering reactor meltdowns, radiation leaks and the evacuation of tens of thousands of people. Utilities not directly affected by the twin disasters have held back from restarting reactors that were under maintenance at the time or entered regular check-ups after the disaster. As a result only 19 of Japan’s 54 reactors are now operating. The Ooi shutdown — to be completed Saturday evening — will bring the number to 18, with further reactors soon due to shut down for regular checks.

    http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/site/?pageid=event_desc&edis_id=NC-20110716-31590-JPN

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  3. goodbyemilkyway says:

    yes, yes, they are Brilliant…Genius…*rolls eyes*..phht

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  4. luisport says:

    “Strong El Niño could bring increased sea levels, storm surges to U.S. East Coast”

    ““High-water events are already a concern for coastal communities. Studies like this may better prepare local officials who plan for or respond to conditions that may impact their communities,” said Sweet. “For instance, city planners may consider reinforcing the primary dunes to mitigate for erosion at their beaches and protecting vulnerable structures like city docks by October during a strong El Niño year.””

    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2011/20110715_elnino.html

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  5. Kenny moore says:

    Funny how we have similar co2 ratings as a few million years ago. Fred flintstone must have had lost his exhaust system on the flintstone mobile!

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  6. Nymphaea says:

    To think that tax-payers are funding their jobs and their ‘crystal ball science’ is absolutely incredible. When are they going to throw these “experts’ out on their collective fanny and start putting measures in place for everyday folk to cope with these disasters. They could put these sedentary pretend experts to work to plant more trees and help in the clean-up after the disasters. Just think of all the money that goes into their salaries, staff luncheons, research funding aka building funds to build monuments to themselves, consumption of power to run their meaningless computer models, junkets to meet like-minded numbnuts in other countries, funding to groom up and coming clones of themselves and funding of propaganda machines. Since they will never be able to do anything tangible about the escalating disasters the least they can do is help in the aftermath globally. The worst thing to happen to society is the growth of parasitic think tanks and social engineers that try to model society based on predictive science – talk about the blind leading the blind

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