Global Climate Change Seminar - The contribution of the oceans?

Broecker, W. S., 1995, Chaotic Climate, Sci. Am.: another article related to your reading.

Fundamental distinction: continous vs. discontinuous behavior:

Consider list of phenomena that are continuous vs. discontinuous.

Circulation occurs in atmosphere, oceans, mantle, and core!

Discussion questions:

How fast do climatic shifts occur?

What fundamentally causes water to move, drives circulation patterns in ocean basins?

What causes differences in temperature and salinity and thus drives circulation?

What determines pattern of currents, convection?

What is the significance of the Santa Barbara cores, and the New Zealand glaciers in Broeker's perspective?

What does Broeker attribute the abrupt changes (DO events) to, what trigger event?

What is critical role water vapor plays in ocean-atmospheric coupling?

What are other feedback loops related to climate (e.g. how might it effect biologic productivity)?

Discussion question for next week: Make a list of factors that theoretically should produce abrupt climate shifts, and another list of factors that might cause gradual shifts. Can you think of linkages between the two lists - how an abrupt change can trigger a slow change or vice versa.