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  • Mike Doran <mike@usinter.net>
    http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf? file=/nature/journal/v415/n6874/abs/415863a_fs.html&dynoptions=doi1043 522459 Nature 415, 863 - 869 (2002);
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 27, 2003
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      http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?
      file=/nature/journal/v415/n6874/abs/415863a_fs.html&dynoptions=doi1043
      522459

      Nature 415, 863 - 869 (2002); doi:10.1038/415863a

      The role of the thermohaline circulation in abrupt climate change

      PETER U. CLARK*, NICKLAS G. PISIAS†, THOMAS F. STOCKER‡ & ANDREW J.
      WEAVER§

      * Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis,
      Oregon 97331, USA † College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences,
      Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA ‡ Climate and
      Environmental Physics, University of Bern, Physics Institute,
      Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland § School of Earth and Ocean
      Sciences, University of Victoria, PO Box 3055, Victoria, British
      Columbia V8W 3P6, Canada

      Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to
      P.U.C. (e-mail: clarkp@...).

      "The possibility of a reduced Atlantic thermohaline circulation in
      response to increases in greenhouse-gas concentrations has been
      demonstrated in a number of simulations with general circulation
      models of the coupled ocean–atmosphere system. But it remains
      difficult to assess the likelihood of future changes in the
      thermohaline circulation, mainly owing to poorly constrained model
      parameterizations and uncertainties in the response of the climate
      system to greenhouse warming. Analyses of past abrupt climate changes
      help to solve these problems. Data and models both suggest that
      abrupt climate change during the last glaciation originated through
      changes in the Atlantic thermohaline circulation in response to small
      changes in the hydrological cycle. Atmospheric and oceanic responses
      to these changes were then transmitted globally through a number of
      feedbacks. The palaeoclimate data and the model results also indicate
      that the stability of the thermohaline circulation depends on the
      mean climate state. "

      Comment:

      Confusions here are as follows:

      1. Hydrology changes not just fresh water capping but biological
      input and hence conductivity.

      2. Warmer oceans are more conductive.

      3. Forcings come from cirrus down, not thermohaline up,
      thermodyanamically. The cirrus forcing is very strong this way. For
      instance, the 1997-8 El Nino ended in May 1998 with SSTs dropping
      almost 10 degrees F. in ONE MONTH. This is all cirrus/fair weather
      driven. The huge differences between IR lost to space in fair weather
      and trapped by clouds is well enough to force SSTs from the top down.
      Efforts to make the SSTs move from bottom up, with inputs from the
      hydrology, only take advantage of the correlations to the real causal
      mechanism.

      4. These are chaos idiots looking at a modulated and highly tuned
      biological system, not a chaotic one for which they seek another
      chaotic equillibrium.

      There are more points but this is enough to set their pants on fire.
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