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Rising Pacific Ocean Temperatures Are Changing West Coast Precipitation Patterns

Rising ocean temperatures in the Pacific are at the center of west coast precipitation patterns, triggering winter storms and could end up causing a change in the Pacific Northwest and Southwest climate, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado have determined that ocean temperatures and not the planet’s ice sheets are ‘directly responsible’ for changing the Pacific atmosphere North and west. Coastal precipitation patterns.

This happened during the Last Glacial Maximum, which occurred between 31,000 and 16,000 years ago and is happening today.

The changes are noteworthy given that an ice sheet does not need to form, the researchers said.

Rising ocean temperatures in the Pacific are causing changes in precipitation patterns on the west coast

Rising ocean temperatures in the Pacific are causing changes in precipitation patterns on the west coast

Similar to what happened during the Last Glacial Maximum, the climates of the Pacific Northwest and Southwest could change

Similar to what happened during the Last Glacial Maximum, the climates of the Pacific Northwest and Southwest could change

Similar to what happened during the Last Glacial Maximum, the climates of the Pacific Northwest and Southwest could change

Scientists originally thought that during the Last Glacial Maximum, roughly 20,000 years ago, large ice sheets loomed over North America and these ice sheets caused the dramatic change in the circulation of the atmosphere.

Since Pacific Ocean temperatures and west coast precipitation patterns are linked, it could mean that there could be a ‘dramatic shift’ in west coast climate in a relatively short period of time.

“It is clearly plausible that we can obtain an ocean temperature pattern in the North Pacific that closely resembles what we saw during the Last Glacial Maximum,” added lead study author Dillon Amaya.

“This could lead to dramatic changes in the hydroclimate on the west coast over a relatively short period of time, such as decades.”

The changes do not require the presence of an ice sheet, as scientists thought.

The changes do not require the presence of an ice sheet, as scientists thought.

The changes do not require the presence of an ice sheet, as scientists thought.

During the Last Glacial Maximum, large ice sheets loomed over North America causing the dramatic change in the circulation of the atmosphere.

During the Last Glacial Maximum, large ice sheets loomed over North America causing the dramatic change in the circulation of the atmosphere.

During the Last Glacial Maximum, large ice sheets loomed over North America causing the dramatic change in the circulation of the atmosphere.

Amaya noted that although there are no changes, an ice sheet almost 2 miles high (3 kilometers) will appear ‘suddenly’ over North America, modern climate ‘can produce similar changes in the temperatures of the North Pacific Ocean that could change temporarily. southwestern climates. and the Pacific Northwest. ‘

Scientists originally thought that during the Last Glacial Maximum, roughly 20,000 years ago, large ice sheets loomed over North America and these ice sheets caused the dramatic change in the circulation of the atmosphere.

“ This study highlights the need for a holistic view of the climate system, especially when modeling its past and future behavior, ” CIRES co-author and fellow Kris Karnauskas said at a statement.

“Without taking into account the interaction between the atmosphere and the ocean, you may end up with the correct answer for the wrong reason, which is of course risky when trying to extrapolate that information to future concerns like freshwater availability.”

The study shows that the ocean temperatures of the Last Glacial Maximum were not unique to that time period.

The researchers note that during this period, the southwestern US was full of rainfall and the Pacific Northwest was dry, drastically different from what these regions are like today.

The northern hemisphere ice sheets were believed to act as a barrier and push the North Pacific jet stream and storms south, but after further investigation, they found that was not the case.

“There is also the thermodynamic effect of having a really bright ice sheet that reflects a lot of sunlight,” Amaya explained. “That creates a cooling that also adjusts the atmospheric circulation.”

The study shows that the ocean temperatures of the Last Glacial Maximum were not unique to that time period.

The study shows that the ocean temperatures of the Last Glacial Maximum were not unique to that time period.

The study shows that the ocean temperatures of the Last Glacial Maximum were not unique to that time period.

The researchers used a climate model that also simulated the ocean’s response to ice sheets and how it interacts with the atmosphere to arrive at their findings.

“This study highlights the need for a holistic view of the climate system, especially when modeling its past and future behavior,” explained CIRES co-author and member Kris Karnauskas.

“Without taking into account the interaction between the atmosphere and the ocean, you may end up with the correct answer for the wrong reason, which is of course risky when trying to extrapolate that information to future concerns like freshwater availability.”

“It is clearly plausible that we can get an ocean temperature pattern in the North Pacific that closely resembles what we saw during the Last Glacial Maximum,” Amaya said.

‘This could lead to dramatic changes in the hydroclimate of the west coast over a relatively short period of time, such as decades.

Although ice sheets do not play a preeminent role in pushing storms southward, they do play a role, albeit one that could be considered behind the scenes.

The study was recently published in the scientific journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters magazine.

SEA LEVEL COULD INCREASE UP TO 4 FEET BY THE YEAR 2300

Global sea levels could rise as much as 1.2 meters (4 feet) by 2300, even if we meet the Paris climate targets for 2015, the scientists warned.

The long-term change will be driven by a thaw from Greenland to Antarctica that is set to redraw global shores.

Rising sea levels threaten cities from Shanghai to London, low-lying areas of Florida or Bangladesh, and entire nations like the Maldives.

It is vital that we reduce emissions as soon as possible to avoid a further increase, a German-led team of researchers said in a new report.

By 2300, the report projected that sea level would rise between 0.7 and 1.2 meters, even if nearly 200 nations fully met the targets of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The targets set by the agreements include reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero in the second half of this century.

Ocean levels will rise inexorably because heat-trapping industrial gases already emitted will remain in the atmosphere, melting more ice, he said.

Also, water expands naturally as it warms above four degrees Celsius (39.2 ° F).

Every five years of delay beyond 2020 in peak global emissions would mean an additional 20-centimeter (8-inch) rise in sea level by 2300.

“ Sea level is often communicated as a really slow process that you can’t do much about … but the next 30 years really do matter, ” said lead author Dr. Matthias Mengel of the Institute of Potsdam for Climate Impact Research, in Potsdam. Germany.

None of the nearly 200 governments that signed the Paris Accords are on track to deliver on their promises.

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