Discussing global warming, the public interest first and foremost an average air temperature near the Earth's surface, but it's just one of the cakes climate "Napoleon." Maybe you have not noticed, but the oceans are so huge that holds a lot more heat than the atmosphere. 90% of the energy that is added to the climate system the man some water is absorbed by the planet.
Unfortunately, to keep track of this process difficult. On land many measures the temperature of the weather, and sea space they are clearly not enough. In the early 2000s, began to deploy stand-alone tools flotilla "Argo", which dramatically increased the amount of data, but what is happening in the deep water to this day remains a mystery.
Estimation of heat at different depths over time (of the authors of the image).
In 2010, researchers found an imbalance in the global distribution of heat. If you measure the energy that caught recently produced greenhouse gases, it becomes clear that the atmosphere and warmed ocean surface is not as hard as it should be. And this deficit accumulated since 2004. Some believe that this is the result of the margin of error, while others believe that the "missing energy" to be found in the deep sea. In addition, the rapid warming of the atmosphere in the 1990s, led by a strong El Niño, slowed down in the 2000s due to La Niña, and many believed that global warming is over, and the scientists can go home.
New sheds light on the study carried out by Magdalena Balmaceda and Erland Kellenom of the European Centre for the average lead-time weather forecasts, and Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (USA). They collected and re-analyzed the results of measurements of water temperature from 1958 to 2009.
It was found that the decrease in the amount of heat in the oceans of the prisoner, coincides with strong volcanic eruptions that emit light-blocking particles. In addition, there was a decrease after 1998, remember incredibly strong El Nino, because of which the global temperature set a new record.
If you do not get hung up on the atmosphere, all of this is easily explained. El Niño means raising the surface temperature of the eastern Pacific Ocean, and some of this energy is transferred to the atmosphere, which is why it is heated. But at the same time means the evaporation cooling ocean.
After this period, the amount of heat in the ocean continued to increase rapidly, especially at great depths. The researchers emphasize that the warming waters below 700 m is unique. About 30% of warming of the oceans since 1998 falls on this depth.
Why exactly this part of the world ocean thermal energy accumulates most rapidly? Apparently, this is due to changes in its circulation. One study showed that La Niña and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation could cause a temporary lull of surface warming, while depth were filled with energy. And when things once again changed, this heat will heat the surface of the ocean.
The study is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Prepared according to Ars Technica.