24 Sep '12, 2am

Stratospheric Winds Can Change Deep Ocean Currents

Stratospheric Winds Can Change Deep Ocean Currents

– ‘Stratospheric sudden warming’ events occur when temperatures rise and 80-mph ‘polar vortex’ winds encircling the Artic suddenly weaken or even change direction. These winds extend from 15 miles elevation in the stratosphere up beyond the top of the stratosphere at 30 miles. The changes last for up to 60 days, allowing time for their effects to propagate down through the atmosphere to the ocean. – Changes in the speed of the Atlantic circulation pattern — known as Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation — that influences the world’s oceans because it acts like a conveyor belt moving water around the planet. Sometimes, both events happen several years in a row in one decade, and then none occur in the next decade. So incorporating this decade-scale effect of the stratosphere on the sea into supercomputer climate simulations or “models” is important in forecasting deca...

Full article: http://planetsave.com/2012/09/23/stratospheric-winds-can-...

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