Study: Biggest uncertainty in climate models is ocean mixing — will need 25 years more research to understand

Oregon State University announced:

A new study published this week in the journal Nature reveals for the first time how the mixing of cold, deep waters from below can change sea surface temperatures on seasonal and longer timescales…

The researchers found clear evidence that mixing alone cools the sea surface in the cold tongue, and that the magnitude of mixing is influenced by equatorial currents that flow from east to west at the surface, and from west to east in deeper waters 100 meters beneath the surface.

“There is a hint – although it is too early to tell – that increased mixing may lead, or have a correlation to the development of La Niña,” Moum said. “Conversely, less mixing may be associated with El Niño. But we only have a six-year record – we’ll need 25 years or more to reach any conclusions on this question.”

Nash said the biggest uncertainty in climate change models is understanding some of the basic processes for the mixing of deep-ocean and surface waters and the impacts on sea surface temperatures. This work should make climate models more accurate in the future.

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5 thoughts on “Study: Biggest uncertainty in climate models is ocean mixing — will need 25 years more research to understand”

  1. “This work should make climate models more accurate in the future.”

    Anyone who claims that they can measure the heat content of the earth’s oceans should be considered automatically suspect. Mind you, they may actually believe it, but on principle you should make sure there are no sharp objects in their path. They can’t be held responsible for their own judgement.

  2. Well, that sure settles the science.
    A better understanding of La Nina and El Nino could improve crop planning in vulnerable areas. That would be a good thing.

  3. This translates to “I’m retiring in 25 years so I need a steady source of grant money until then”…

  4. Just keep sending us an uninterrupted supply of money for 25 years, with a yes clause just in case we unexpectedly find ourselves needing more for the following 25 years. Saving the planet Earth is our main concern.

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