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Cooling in the North Atlantic

Something is going on in the North Atlantic.

Paul Homewood notes the region is cooling rapidly and it is not just surface cooling, it applies to the 700m depth that Argo buoys measure. Graphs thanks to Ole Humlum.

North Atlantic Argo, 2016.

To give it some perspective that cooling is back to temperatures of about 20 years ago (see below). This is localized, not global, but still interesting (rather especially to our European friends).

This is the area mentioned in a recent study on solar winds which found faster solar winds correlate with a cooler north Atlantic.

A year ago a different paper predicted colder times were coming to the North Atlantic due to natural cycles.

The man-made aerosols prediction that bit the dust…

A paper by Robsom et al in the last couple of weeks said that the cooling trend was clear, started in 2005 and really shouldn’t have happened if man-made aerosols were controlling the North Atlantic.

 “Here we show that since 2005 a large volume of the upper North Atlantic nOcean has cooled significantly by approximately 0.45 C.”

“The observed upper ocean cooling since 2005 is not consistent with the hypothesis that anthropogenic aerosols directly drive Atlantic temperatures12.”


So the climate models are wrong about the “aerosols” excuse which is used to explain any inconvenient non-warming phase. There are less aerosols over the North Atlantic now. This cooling really shouldn’t be happening. Looks like it’s cooling due to “internal variability” which is code for natural cycles that our models don’t understand. From Robson:

The observed cooling is not consistent with a dominant role for surface heat flux changes due to anthropogenic aerosols12. Anthropogenic aerosol loads have decreased in the North Atlantic region since the 1990s, and would therefore be expected to have induced warming of Atlantic SSTs26, in contrast to the observed cooling.

As Ted M says in comments: “It’s not consistent with ocean warming from greenhouse gas forcing either.”

If the cooling keeps on, there will be less hurricanes, summers in Northern Europe will get drier. There will be less rain in the Sahel it may affect the PDO:

Finally, the deep Labrador Sea density is still anomalously low, and has decreased over the past decade (see Fig. 1), albeit at a slower rate. Given the lag between the deep Labrador Sea density and the upper ocean (that is, Fig. 3), we would expect some further cooling of the North Atlantic to take place, in agreement with other studies11,14,16. If the North Atlantic cools further this is likely to favour reduced rainfall in the Sahel region3 and drier summers in Northern Europe4, as well as a continued suppression of hurricane numbers2.  Furthermore, the continuing cooling could have important implications for the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation, and possibly global mean temperatures30. Looking further ahead, the EN4 analyses also suggest that the observed cooling of the upper SPG is associated with a small increase in upper ocean density (not shown). This increase could be the first stage in the next phase reversal of Atlantic Multidecadal Variability, as suggested by simulated mechanisms of natural internal variability10,22. Therefore, monitoring and predicting the continuing changes in the Atlantic Ocean, and the links to other regions, remains a key priority.


With the climate-change ‘experts’ informing,
That by heating the sea we’ve caused storming,
By now must be frantic,
That the Northern Atlantic,
For years has been cooling not warming.



Bob Tisdale in comments adds:   “Considering the much-adjusted NODC OHC data to 2000 meters continues to climb for the entire North Atlantic (not just the small portions shown in the climate4you graphs), one might assume there is an exchange of heat between the 0-700 meter depth and the 0-2000 meter depth.”


h/t Tom Nelson,  Willie Soon


Jon Robson, Pablo Ortega & Rowan Sutton (2016) A reversal of climatic trends in the North Atlantic since 2005 AOP 

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