RIP “Thermohaline Catastrophe”

In the movie The Day After Tomorrow, global warming caused a rapid onset of glaciation because meltwater shut down the “conveyor” current and the Gulf Stream.

For 50 years it had been assumed that the northward flowing warm Gulf Stream had a southward flowing cold counterpart deeper in the ocean.  This “conveyor belt” is known as Thermohaline Circulation (THC). 

One of the threats of global warming was the possibility of a “Thermohaline Catastrophe”.  If too much fresh water suddenly was dumped into the North Atlantic from melting ice…the “conveyor belt” would shut down.  This was thought to be a possible cause of rapid onsets of past glaciations.

This theory has taken a beating over the past few years.

According to Wallace Broecker, the father of the THC catastrophe theory, “the threat (of an anthropogenic thermohaline catastrophe) will be far smaller than previously envisioned” (Geological Perspectives of Global Climate Change edited by Lee Gerhard).  Dennis Quaid’s character in The Day After Tomorrow  was very loosely based on Wallace Broecker.

The best evidence for a past THC catastrophe had always been the Younger Dryas mini-ice age early in the Holocene.  For quite a long time it was believed that the failure of an ice dam holding bake glacial Lake Agassiz in Canada had dumped so much water into the North Atlantic that it shut down the “conveyor belt” and caused a THC catastrophe.  But then a few years ago, it was shown that the Agassiz ice dam failed well after the Younger Dryas…Testing the Lake Agassiz Meltwater Trigger for the Younger Dryas, Lowell, EOS, October 4, 2005…

Well, recently it was also determined that Pleistocene changes in ocean circulation followed and did not lead climate changes… Ice Age Ocean Circulation Reacted To, Did Not Cause, Climate Change At Glacial Boundaries, Science Daily, May 1, 2005…<a

Now it appears that there is no such thing as a “conveyor belt” current…

Cold Water Ocean Circulation Doesn’t Work As Expected

ScienceDaily (May 14, 2009) — The familiar model of Atlantic ocean currents that shows a discrete “conveyor belt” of deep, cold water flowing southward from the Labrador Sea is probably all wet.

New research led by Duke University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution relied on an armada of sophisticated floats to show that much of this water, originating in the sea between Newfoundland and Greenland, is diverted generally eastward by the time it flows as far south as Massachusetts. From there it disburses to the depths in complex ways that are difficult to follow.

A 50-year-old model of ocean currents had shown this southbound subsurface flow of cold water forming a continuous loop with the familiar northbound flow of warm water on the surface, called the Gulf Stream.

“Everybody always thought this deep flow operated like a conveyor belt, but what we are saying is that concept doesn’t hold anymore,” said Duke oceanographer Susan Lozier. “So it’s going to be more difficult to measure these climate change signals in the deep ocean.”

And since cold Labrador seawater is thought to influence and perhaps moderate human-caused climate change, this finding may affect the work of global warming forecasters…LINK

That last paragraph is really funny.  The only “evidence” for “human-caused climate change” comes from General Circulation Models.  All of those models assumed that there was a “conveyor belt” current. 

The only “evidence” for “human-caused climate change” comes from General Circulation Models.  All of those models assumed that there was a “conveyor belt” current. 

All of those models were already wrong…Now they are all even wronger…:))

In the meantime, the Earth continues to ignore the models and ignore the CO2…

 

IPCC Fourth Assessment Report vs. Satellite Temperature Data

IPCC Fourth Assessment Report vs. Satellite Temperature Data

None of the IPCC models predicted the global cooling that has occured over the last six to ten years. 

CO2 does not drive climate change…

Did you know that temperature changes over the last 150 years or so dont correlate with atmospheric CO2 levels?

Did you know that temperature changes over the last 150 years or so don't correlate with atmospheric CO2 levels?

The Sun (and the stars) drive climate change…

Whod have guessed that climate change correlates almost exactly with changes in solar activity?

Who'd have guessed that climate change correlates almost exactly with changes in solar activity?

The Sun has been very quiet for the past few years…And satellite temperature measurements show that all of the global warming from 1979-2003 has been reversed in just the last few years…

 

Are you surprised that the satellite data show that its no warmer now than it was in 1979?

Are you surprised that the satellite data show that it's no warmer now than it was in 1979?

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One Response to “RIP “Thermohaline Catastrophe””

  1. David Middleton Says:

    One of the oft mentioned global warming bogeymen is the possibility of a “Thermohaline Catastrophe”.  If too much fresh meltwater was suddenly dumped into the North Atlantic, the “conveyor belt” current would shut down… The so-called Thermohaline Circulation (THC| catastrophe theory.  

    This “theory” died a decade ago; yet the THC bogeyman lives on I’m the media. In Geological Perspectives of Global Climate Change (2001), Wallace Broecker, the father of the THC catastrophe theory, wrote that “the threat (of an anthropogenic thermohaline catastrophe) will be far smaller than previously envisioned.” Broecker’s epiphany was likely inspired by Gerard Bond’s demonstration that Dansgaard-Oeschger-type events continued throughout the Holocene.  

    The best evidence for a past THC catastrophe had always been the Younger Dryas mini-ice age during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition.  For quite a long time it was believed that the failure of an ice dam holding bake glacial Lake Agassiz in Canada had dumped so much water into the North Atlantic that it shut down the “conveyor belt” and caused a THC catastrophe. 

    About the same time as Broecker’s epiphany, Gosler et al.(2000) demonstrated the Broecker’s THC “smoking gun” radiocarbon signature was present in lake sediment cores.

    In 2005 Thomas Lowell published a paper in Eos, demonstrating that the Agassiz ice dam failed well after the Younger Dryas… Testing the Lake Agassiz Meltwater Trigger for the Younger Dryas, Lowell, EOS, October 4, 2005.

    This particular AGW myth lives on, despite having been killed about a dozen times since the mid-1990’s. The Warmists don’t have the slightest clue as to how the pre-industrial climate behaved, yet they are certain that industrial era climate change is unprecedented.

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