Peter G. Ryan, Ben J. Dilley, Robert A. Ronconi, and Maëlle Connan. Rapid increase in Asian bottles in the South Atlantic Ocean indicates major debris inputs from ships, PNAS, October 15, 2019, 116(42), 20892-20897; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1909816116
Most plastic debris floating at sea is thought to come from land-based sources, but there is little direct evidence to support this assumption. Since 1984, stranded debris has been recorded along the west coast of Inaccessible Island, a remote, uninhabited island in the central South Atlantic Ocean that has a very high macrodebris load (∼5 kg·m−1). Plastic drink bottles show the fastest growth rate, increasing at 15% per year compared with 7% per year for other debris types. In 2018, we examined 2,580 plastic bottles and other containers (one-third of all debris items) that had accumulated on the coast, and a further 174 bottles that washed ashore during regular monitoring over the course of 72 d (equivalent to 800 bottles·km−1·y−1). The oldest container was a high-density polyethylene canister made in 1971, but most were polyethylene terephthalate drink bottles of recent manufacture. Of the bottles that washed up during our survey, 90% were date-stamped within 2 y of stranding. In the 1980s, two-thirds of bottles derived from South America, carried 3,000 km by the west wind drift. By 2009, Asia had surpassed South America as the major source of bottles, and by 2018, Asian bottles comprised 73% of accumulated and 83% of newly arrived bottles, with most made in China. The rapid growth in Asian debris, mainly from China, coupled with the recent manufacture of these items, indicates that ships are responsible for most of the bottles floating in the central South Atlantic Ocean, in contravention of International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships regulations.
LIANG JIAO, SHENGJIE WANG, YUAN JIANG, XUERUI LIU. A 333-YEAR RECORD OF THE MEAN MINIMUM TEMPERATURE RECONSTRUCTION IN THE WESTERN TIANSHAN MOUNTAINS, CHINA. GEOCHRONOMETRIA 46 (2019): 37–48 DOI 10.1515/geochr-2015-0104
In this paper, a fragile ecological area in the Western Tianshan National Nature Reserve of China was selected as the research region, and Picea schrenkiana, which is sensitive to climate change, was selected as the research object. The mean minimum temperature in the growing season of the previous year (May to September) was the main limiting factor for tree radial growth based on an analysis of the relationship between chronological series and climatic factors during 1959–2012 (r = –0.792, p < 0.05). Moreover, the relationship was stable, which showed that tree rings can be used as alternative materials for climate reconstruction. Therefore, the mean minimum temperature of the previous year in 1680–2012 was reconstructed, and the explained variance of the reconstruction equation was 62.7% (R2adj = 62.0%, F = 85.8). The 31 dramatically altered years were found via char- acteristic year analyses, and extreme changes occurred most often under relatively warm conditions. The mean minimum temperature in the reconstruction shows a clear warming trend by the 11-year moving average of the reconstructive series since the 1950s (the temperature increase: 0.341°C/decade). The driving factors of the mean minimum temperature were influenced mainly by the interaction of solar activity and large-scale atmospheric–oceanic variability, especially the westerly circulations.
“The Great Barrier Reef spans 2,000 kilometers and five degrees Celsius from 27 to 32°C and we’re still finding reefs we didn’t even know about. The pH swings on a daily basis, and fish do better when it does. One coral has adapted to ocean “acidification” in 6 months. Other fish remarkably adapted from salt to freshwater in just fifty years. As Peter Ridd says: Of all the ecosystems in the world, the reef is one that’s best at adapting to climate change.” click here
J. I. Antonov, T. P. Boyer, O. K. Baranova, H. E. Garcia World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level change (0–2000 m), 1955–2010. Geophysical Research Letters, 17 May 2012. https://doi.org/10.1029/2012GL051106
 We provide updated estimates of the change of ocean heat content and the thermosteric component of sea level change of the 0–700 and 0–2000 m layers of the World Ocean for 1955–2010. Our estimates are based on historical data not previously available, additional modern data, and bathythermograph data corrected for instrumental biases. We have also used Argo data corrected by the Argo DAC if available and used uncorrected Argo data if no corrections were available at the time we downloaded the Argo data. The heat content of the World Ocean for the 0–2000 m layer increased by 24.0 ± 1.9 × 1022 J (±2S.E.) corresponding to a rate of 0.39 W m−2 (per unit area of the World Ocean) and a volume mean warming of 0.09°C. This warming corresponds to a rate of 0.27 W m−2 per unit area of earth’s surface. The heat content of the World Ocean for the 0–700 m layer increased by 16.7 ± 1.6 × 1022 J corresponding to a rate of 0.27 W m−2(per unit area of the World Ocean) and a volume mean warming of 0.18°C. The World Ocean accounts for approximately 93% of the warming of the earth system that has occurred since 1955. The 700–2000 m ocean layer accounted for approximately one‐third of the warming of the 0–2000 m layer of the World Ocean. The thermosteric component of sea level trend was 0.54 ± .05 mm yr−1for the 0–2000 m layer and 0.41 ± .04 mm yr−1 for the 0–700 m layer of the World Ocean for 1955–2010.
Carl Wunsch. Towards determining uncertainties in global oceanic mean values of heat, salt, and surface elevation. Journal Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography. Volume 70, 2018 – Issue 1 https://doi.org/10.1080/16000870.2018.1471911
Lower-bounds on uncertainties in oceanic data and a model are calculated for the 20-year time means and their temporal evolution for oceanic temperature, salinity, and sea surface height, during the data-dense interval 1994–2013. The essential step of separating stochastic from systematic or deterministic elements of the fields is explored by suppressing the globally correlated components of the fields. Justification lies in the physics and the brevity of a 20-year estimate relative to the full oceanic adjustment time, and the inferred near-linearity of response on short time intervals. Lower-bound uncertainties reflecting the only stochastic elements of the state estimate are then calculated from bootstrap estimates. Trends are estimated as 2.2±0.2mm/y in elevation, 0.0011 ± 0.0001 °C/y, and (−2.825 ± 0.17) × 10−5 for surface elevation, temperature and salt, with formal 2-standard deviation uncertainties. The temperature change corresponds to a 20-year average ocean heating rate of 0.48±0.1 W/m2 of which 0.1 W/m2 arises from the geothermal forcing. Systematic errors must be determined separately.
Posted in Oceans
“A huge circulation pattern in the Atlantic Ocean took a starring role in the 2004 movie “The Day After Tomorrow.” In that fictional tale the global oceanic current suddenly stops and New York City freezes over. While many aspects of the movie are unrealistic, oceanographers are concerned about the long-term stability of the Atlantic Ocean circulation, and previous studies show that it has slowed dramatically in the past decade. New research from the University of Washington and the Ocean University of China finds the slowdown is not caused by global warming but is part of regular, decades-long cycle that will affect temperatures in coming decades.” click here
“Instead of inundation from sea level rise, 80% of assessed Florida Bay (USA) islands grew in area during 1953-2014, prototyping a global-scale trend in island resistance to rising seas.” click here