Departments of Pacific Experiencing Drop In Temperatures from "Small Ice Age"



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Research found that the cool surface of water during the Little Ice Age hundreds of years ago only reached the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. While seas and ocean are now starting to feel the effect of modern global warming, the Pacific's depths have only begun to cool. ( Larry Madine | Woods hole in the Oceanographic Institute )

The bottom of the Pacific Ocean is cooling and scientists believe it is caused by the little ice age that has been hundreds of years ago.

On the surface, the water temperature is responding to global warming caused by the emission of excess greenhouse gases. A new study, however, revealed that the deep ocean was several centuries behind.

The Woods Holocaust Research Institute Author's Research Institute, and Harvard University, was published in the journal. Science.

Deep within the Pacific Ocean

The ocean has a long memory. Previous studies have revealed that it takes a long time for the Pacific Ocean to climb down to its lowest depths.

The process takes a few hundred years, which means that the surface of the Little Ice Age about 700 years ago is just making its way to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Researchers believe that studying the water temperature in the deep ocean may offer new information about the environment from the 1300s to the 1870s.

"The waters are so old and not so close to the surface, they still remembered hundreds of years ago when Europe experienced some of its coldest winters in history," Jake explains. Berbi, a WHOI physical ocean, and author of the study.

The researchers used the data recorded by scientists onboard the HMS Challenger in the 1870s and compared them to modern observations through the World Ocean Circulation Experiment. They found that, as expected, most of the global ocean was warming due to climate change. However, the deep Pacific is still cooling.

They predict that over the course of the 20th century, the depths of the Pacific Ocean at around 1.8 to 2.6 km cooled between 0.02 and 0.08 degrees Celsius. Prior to the Ice Age, the time was called the Medieval Warm Period, which caused the deep Pacific to warm before the current cooling.

The future of Earth oceans

The researchers explained that their model changes the understanding of how much heat the ocean has absorbed in the last century. They hope that their findings will help provide better insight into modern warming trends.

"A part of the heat needs to bring the ocean into the Ecalibrium with an atmosphere of more greenhouse gases is apparently already present in the deep Pacific," added Peter Hyyber, co-author of the study and professor of Earth and Planning at Harvard.

The researchers, however, said the Pacific Ocean cooling due to the little ice age hundreds of years ago would not override the increase in global temperature.

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