WUWT- As much of the ocean responds to the rising temperatures of today’s world, the deep, dark waters at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean appear to be doing the exact opposite.
A Harvard study has found that parts of the deep Pacific may be getting cooler as the result of a climate phenomenon that occurred hundreds of years ago.
Around the 17th century, Earth experienced a prolonged cooling period dubbed the Little Ice Age that brought chillier-than-average temperatures to much of the Northern Hemisphere.
Though it’s been centuries since this all played out, researchers say the deep Pacific appears to lag behind the waters closer to the surface, and is still responding to the Little Ice Age.
‘Climate varies across all timescales,’ said Peter Huybers, a professor at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
‘Some regional warming and cooling patterns, like the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period, are well known.
‘Our goal was to develop a model of how the interior properties of the ocean respond to changes in surface climate.’
The Medieval Warm Period was a period lasting between the 9th and 12th centuries during which Earth’s climate leaned on the warmer side.
It was followed not long after by the Little Ice Age, which lasted from the 16th through 19th century, though some argue it began even earlier.
According to researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Harvard University, this long-ago cooling period could still be showing its face in the temperatures of the deep ocean. more