Unforced, naturally occurring warm spot in the Pacific Ocean causes Arctic melting

It is estimated that a substantial portion of recent global warming in the Arctic is caused by naturally occurring warm “sweet spots” in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

Research conducted by scientists from Monash University and the University of Washington used observations and computer modelling to conclude that a warmer Pacific Ocean has caused subsequent changes in the North Atlantic, heating the surface by approximately 0.5 degrees per decade since 1979. Areas in the Arctic region such as Canada and Greenland have experienced the most warming on Earth.

The recent warming has been caused by a negative trend in the North Atlantic Oscillation, a response to the Rossby wave-train activity, an anomaly originating in the South Pacific.

Researcher Ailie Gallant suggests carbon dioxide emissions are still the prevailing cause of global warming, but insights into unforced, natural phenomena can potentially assist in reducing the impact of future climate changes.

Read more at Monash University

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