stronger westerly winds...
Sea levels may rise much faster than predicted because climate models have failed to account for the disruptive effects of stronger westerly winds, Australian-led research has found.
Recent studies of Antarctica have suggested the giant glaciers of West Antarctica may have begun an irreversible melting that will raise sea levels by as much as 3 metres over 200-500 years.
That estimate, though, may prove optimistic because models had failed to account for how strengthening westerly winds in the Southern Ocean would start to impinge coastal easterlies, upsetting a delicate balance of warm and cold waters close to the Antarctic ice sheets, said Paul Spence, an oceanographer at the University of NSW’s Climate Change Research Centr
“It’s the first time that I looked at my science and thought, 'Oh my god, that is very concerning'!”, he said. “You hope it’s wrong and you hope it doesn’t happen.
“If you were buying land in Australia and wanting to pass it down to your kids or your grandchildren, I suggest it’s a couple of metres above sea-level,” Dr Spence said.
The research, published in Geophysical Research Letters, found that the coastal temperature structure was more sensitive to global warming, particularly the changes to winds, than previously identified.“The dynamic barrier between cold and warm water relaxes, and this relatively warm water just offshore floods into the ice-shelf regions, increasing the temperatures by 4 degrees under the ice shelf,” he said.
“If you look at how sensitive the coastal ocean is to these changing winds, you could put a lot more heat under these ice shelves than people have previously thought,” Dr Spence said.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/bad-news-about-rising-sea-levels-as-quickening-antarctic-winds-lead-to-faster-ice-melt-20140707-zsz3o.html#ixzz36rBxUVD3
Spring is here... Yes I know we are still in the middle of winter in Sydney but the "natural" signs are that spring is here. Not coming but here. Flowers, bees, birds seem to be a couple of weeks or more early this season. I don't know about the butterflies that seem to have gone into winter with a new batch of caterpillars. Weird. But spring is here.