Climate change drove coral reefs to a total ecosystem collapse lasting thousands of years, according to a paper published this week in Science. The paper shows how natural climatic shifts stopped reef growth in the eastern Pacific for 2,500 years. The reef shutdown, which began 4,000 years ago, corresponds to a period of dramatic swings in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). “As humans continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the climate is once again on the threshold of a new regime, with dire consequences for reef ecosystems unless we get control of climate change,” said coauthor Richard Aronson, a biology professor at Florida Institute of Technology.
Over the course of 2012 ENSO has moved from La Niña to El Niño state. Various ENSO forecasting models (see NOAA NECP, IRI ensemble below) now show Pacific equatorial SSTs anomalies will remain positive for the remainder of 2012 – … Continue reading
Comparing the different ENSO forecast models we conclude the first half of 2012 will most likely (on average) be dominated by the current La Niña phase. Most models however show progression towards neutral and some to El Niño before the … Continue reading
Graph of the day: world temperature record between 1880 and 2011, showing annual and 5-year mean temperature, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) data. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory, Robert Simmon.
If this is true best stack up on your supply of antiviral drugs, because there would be an above-average chance of experiencing another influenza pandemic during the approaching northern hemisphere spring or summer of 2012 (as indeed La Niña is … Continue reading