JAN 29, 2019 5:35 PM PST

The other side of the climate shift

New research published in Nature Climate Change explains how climate change is affecting long-established atmospheric and oceanic patterns. The study comes from researchers at The Ohio State University and is one of the first to consider how climate change is affecting heat transfer, which plays a crucial role in making the majority of our planet inhabitable.

How is climate change impacting heat transfer from the oceans and atmosphere? Photo: Pixabay

"The greenhouse effect and carbon dioxide aren't the only issues to consider as the planet grows warmer -- they are just one part of the equation,” explains Zhengyu Liu, co-lead author of the study. “The way that the atmosphere and oceans move heat around is changing, too, and this could have significant effects on temperatures around the world.”

Liu, along with fellow researcher Chengfei He, used model simulations in order to better understand heat transports (also referred to heat transfer) both from the atmosphere and from oceans. Analyzing historical temperature data from the oceans, they compared how heat transports have changed over time. The ultimate goal of the study is to use this data to illuminate how heat transports and big climate patterns will be impacted under future climate conditions.

According to Science Daily, the results that the researchers found determined that “warming temperatures are driving increased heat transfer in the atmosphere, which is compensated by a reduced heat transfer in the ocean. Additionally, excess oceanic heat is trapped in the Southern Ocean around the Antarctic.”

Liu elaborates: "The ocean stores a lot of heat and in the last 50 years that has increased. And we can correlate that directly with increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide caused by human activity. Most studies like this have looked at future changes, hundreds of years from now. We examined the near-term differences of a warming climate."

The authors are hopeful about the significance of their findings, stating, “These results provide new insights to further our understanding of future heat transport responses, and thereby global climatic processes such as the redistribution of ocean heat.” They urge that more research is needed in order to dive deeper into the complexities of the future of heat transfer.

Sources: Science Daily, Nature Climate Change

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JUL 30, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Megadrought Brings Western US Lakes to Record Lows
JUL 30, 2021
Megadrought Brings Western US Lakes to Record Lows
The megadrought affecting the western United States is not letting up, even though the monsoon season has begun. The lat ...
SEP 07, 2021
Earth & The Environment
The Future of Flooding
SEP 07, 2021
The Future of Flooding
In the wake of recent flooding on the east coast as a result of Hurricane Ida, many people are wondering what the future ...
SEP 20, 2021
Plants & Animals
Oxygen Levels Are Dropping In The Ocean, Affecting Fish Ecosystems
SEP 20, 2021
Oxygen Levels Are Dropping In The Ocean, Affecting Fish Ecosystems
While it may seem counterintuitive, fish can suffocate in the water. They rely on the oxygen (specifically, dissolved ox ...
SEP 21, 2021
Plants & Animals
Increasing Production of Aquatic "Blue" Foods Promotes Sustainable Access To Healthier Diets
SEP 21, 2021
Increasing Production of Aquatic "Blue" Foods Promotes Sustainable Access To Healthier Diets
What is a “blue” food? Hint: it doesn’t mean foods that are blue in color.  “Blue” fo ...
SEP 28, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Using UAVs to Study the Environment
SEP 28, 2021
Using UAVs to Study the Environment
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, are a relatively new technology for the general public at an affordable cost ...
OCT 08, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Evidence of human activity 400,000 years ago in Saudi Arabia
OCT 08, 2021
Evidence of human activity 400,000 years ago in Saudi Arabia
Incredible new evidence pushed back Asia's earliest contact with hominins
Loading Comments...