Global warming has been blamed for the devastating bleaching that is taking place in Pacific Ocean coral reefs. However, the root cause of the warming is something else that scientists have been examining, and recently released a study regarding. The study showed that as the trade winds over the Pacific Ocean are actually the driving force behind temperatures on the surface of the Earth, all around the globe. Additionally, scientists noted that those trade winds change every few decades, to reflect changing patterns over the course of a century and beyond.
This is significant because scientists hadn’t really seen a spike in CO2 emissions in the first part of the 20th century, but the temperature increase over that period was more significant than what scientists would have expected. Moreover, it showed that the global warming problem isn’t solely about CO2 emissions, and is simply a matter of evolving high-level wind patterns, and how they impact the temperatures that are felt here on Earth.
However, the recent study of the corals actually backs the long term theories up regarding trade winds, and global temperature. Recently, the winds have been stronger, thus increasing the cooling that takes place in terms of surface temperature. Think of the Pacific Ocean as the Earth’s air conditioner, and the rest of the world is cooled, or warmed depending on how effectively the winds work to spread the cool air, and cool the Earth subsequently.
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Scientists have even gone as far as to predict that the 15 year slowdown in global temperature rise is likely due to the fact that those winds were so much more prevalent. Diane Thompson of the National Center for Atmospheric Research pointed out that “When winds weaken, which they inevitably will, warming will once again accelerate. The warming caused by greenhouse gases and the warming associated with this natural cycle will compound one another.”
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She shares the sentiments that many scientists share at this point. When the global temperature rises, it will likely be due to the fact that the trade winds over the pacific have calmed and the growing level of CO2 that is being left in the atmosphere will compound the issues, and create an even larger global temperature crisis.