Study links changing winds to warming in Pacific

Sep 22, 2014 2:47 PM by News Staff

A new study has found that warming temperatures in Pacific Ocean waters off North America over the past century closely follow natural changes in the wind, not increases in greenhouse gases related to global warming.

The study was released Monday by the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

It compared ocean surface temperatures from 1900 to 2012 to surface air pressure, a stand-in for wind measurements, and found a close match.

Several mainstream climate scientists questioned how the authors could claim that changes in wind direction and velocity were natural, and unrelated to climate change.

The authors countered that one steep ocean warming period from 1920 to 1940 predates the big increases in greenhouse gases, and an ocean cooling period from 1998 to 2013 came while global average temperatures were at or near all-time highs.

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