February 28, 2007
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FROM VOLUME 9, NUMBER 4, APRIL 1996
threatens Europe: Experiments with a coupled ocean-atmosphere climate model
suggest that a relatively small influx of fresh water could greatly alter the
ocean "conveyor" that moves warm water into the North Atlantic and
moderates the climate of Western Europe. This raises the possibility that
climate change could trigger such a change. (See related papers in Prof.
Pubs./Climate Sensitivity and Feedbacks, this Digest issue--Apr. 1996;
also New Scientist, p. 20, Nov. 11, 1995.)
The long-dismissed idea that the sun could be a major driver of climate change
is gaining new adherents as researchers detect the pulse of the sun in the
ocean, on land, and in glacial ice. (See news feature in Science, pp.
1360-1361, Mar. 8, 1996, and shorter item in
Science News, p. 141, Mar. 2.)
The traditional view of the present interglacial as a period of stable climate
is being challenged by diverse evidence from around the globe that climate has
behaved erratically during the last few millennia. These shifts complicate
forecasts of future climate, as researchers must determine whether they have
played a role in recent global warming. (See Overpeck paper in Prof. Pubs./Of
Gen. Interest, this Digest issue--Apr. 1996, and article in Science
News, pp. 140-141, Mar. 2 1996.)
the Arctic," R. Macdonald, Nature, pp. 286-287, Mar. 28, 1996.
Presentations at the Ocean Sciences Meeting (Feb. 12-16, San Diego)
demonstrated how data from submarines, icebreakers and deep-sea moorings have
produced synoptic surveys of the ocean undreamed of a decade ago. The new tools
provide an unprecedented opportunity to follow perturbations in temperature and
in concentrations of chemicals, and to learn how the Arctic Ocean is coupled to
other oceans in the context of change.
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