sail-world.com -- Change in salinity detected in the world’s oceans

Change in salinity detected in the world’s oceans    

Based on your current download speed Sail-World has delivered images reduced in size (300 pixels long side). 
If you would prefer to see medium sized images (500 pixel long side) click here , or to view large images (660 pixel long side) click here.
If text only (without pictures) is your preference, click here


'Deploying an Argo float in the Tasman Sea'    © Copyright CSIRO Australia    Click Here to view large photo

In a paper published in the journal Science, Australian scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California, reported varying patterns of salinity in the global ocean during the past fifty years, marking a clear fingerprint of climate change.

Lead author, Dr. Paul Durack, said that by looking at observed ocean salinity changes and the relationship between salinity, rainfall and evaporation in climate models, they determined the water cycle has strengthened by four per cent from 1950-2000. This is twice the response projected by current generation global climate models.

'Salinity shifts in the ocean confirm climate and the global water cycle have changed.'

'These changes suggest that arid regions have become drier and high rainfall regions have become wetter in response to observed global warming,' said Dr Durack, a post-doctoral fellow at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

With a projected temperature rise of 3ºC by the end of the century, the researchers estimate a 24 per cent acceleration of the water cycle is possible.

Scientists have struggled to determine coherent estimates of water cycle changes from land-based data because surface observations of rainfall and evaporation are sparse. However, according to the team, global oceans provide a much clearer picture.

'The ocean matters to climate – it stores 97 per cent of the world’s water; receives 80 per cent of the all surface rainfall and; it has absorbed 90 per cent of the Earth's energy increase associated with past atmospheric warming,' said co-author, Dr Richard Matear of CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans Flagship.

'The ocean matters to climate – it stores 97 percent of the world’s water; receives 80 percent of the all surface rainfall and; it has absorbed 90 percent of the Earth's energy increase associated with past atmospheric warming'

Dr. Richard Matear: 'Warming of the Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere is expected to strengthen the water cycle largely driven by the ability of warmer air to hold and redistribute more moisture.'

He said the intensification is an enhancement in the patterns of exchange between evaporation and rainfall and with oceans accounting for 71 percent of the global surface area the change is clearly represented in ocean surface salinity patterns.

In the study, the scientists combined 50-year observed global surface salinity changes with changes from global climate models and found 'robust evidence of an intensified global water cycle at a rate of about eight per cent per degree of surface warming,' Dr. Durack said.

Dr. Durack said the patterns are not uniform, with regional variations agreeing with the 'rich get richer' mechanism, where wet regions get wetter and dry regions drier.

He said a change in freshwater availability in response to climate change poses a more significant risk to human societies and ecosystems than warming alone.

'Changes to the global water cycle and the corresponding redistribution of rainfall will affect food availability, stability, access and utilization,' Dr. Durack said.

Dr. Susan Wijffels, co-Chair of the global Argo project and a co-author on the study, said maintenance of the present fleet of around 3,500 profilers is critical to observing continuing changes to salinity in the upper oceans.

The work was funded through the Australian Climate Change Science Program, a joint initiative of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO. Dr Durack is a graduate of the CSIRO-University of Tasmania Quantitative Marine Science program and he received additional support from CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans Flagship. Work undertaken at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

CSIRO website



by CSIRO
- 10:51 PM Wed 20 Jun 2012 GMT





Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.
If you want to send this story to a friend, please use link below
http://www.sail-world.com/indexs.cfm?nid=98722

Based on your current download speed Sail-World has delivered large images (660 pixels long side.)  If you would like to see only small images (300 pixels long side) click here .  For medium sized images (500 pixels long side) click here .  If you would prefer to see text only (without pictures) click here

Click for further information on
Environment and the ocean

Related News Stories:
23 Oct 2013  'The Ocean is Broken' - without fish, there can be no birds
27 May 2013  Alternative energy - being embraced by the sailing world
09 Apr 2012  Royal Yacht Squadron leads the armada against windfarm plan
14 Jan 2012  Whale Wars - Australian protesters transferred from Japanese whaler
06 Nov 2011  SOS Ocean Racing setting up another Round Australia record attempt
18 Mar 2011  Dogs join Ocean Environment Action Group
15 Mar 2011  New Alliance to save whales AND sailors
17 Feb 2011  Extinction predictor 'will help protect coral reefs'
15 May 2010  SOS Ocean Racing Day 11 - Interesting would be an understatement
07 May 2010  Saves Our Seas Ocean Racing - Day 3

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS AUS
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT