A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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Study shows we can save the Arctic with ship pollution?

Shipping tracks, cloud patterns over the ocean. | Photo NASA.

Ships leave a trail of sulfur dioxide in the sky behind them which seeds clouds and causes cooling. At the same time, black soot drops out on the arctic ice, absorbs sunlight and causes warming. So which effect is bigger? Scott Stephenson et al tried to figure out that out and the cooling effect won.

The researchers also factored in global anthropogenic (human-caused) greenhouse gas concentration trajectories, adopted by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), at a level closely aligning with today’s trends, along with global economic output that will drive the transport of goods.

“We attempted to fully integrate the interactions between the various components of the climate system in ways that have not been done before,” Stephenson says.

The main result was that the cooling effect won out over the warming effect in the simulations, to the tune of about one degree Celsius.

 Zowie. One real degree of Arctic cooling sounds like rather a lot — even undoing greenhouse gas warming as well as soot based warming.

The cooling effect stops if we clean the smoke stack and remove the [...]

Cooling in the North Atlantic

Something is going on in the North Atlantic.

Paul Homewood notes the region is cooling rapidly and it is not just surface cooling, it applies to the 700m depth that Argo buoys measure. Graphs thanks to Ole Humlum.

To give it some perspective that cooling is back to temperatures of about 20 years ago (see below). This is localized, not global, but still interesting (rather especially to our European friends).

This is the area mentioned in a recent study on solar winds which found faster solar winds correlate with a cooler north Atlantic.

A year ago a different paper predicted colder times were coming to the North Atlantic due to natural cycles.

The man-made aerosols prediction that bit the dust…

A paper by Robsom et al in the last couple of weeks said that the cooling trend was clear, started in 2005 and really shouldn’t have happened if man-made aerosols were controlling the North Atlantic.

 ”Here we show that since 2005 a large volume of the upper North Atlantic nOcean has cooled significantly by approximately 0.45 C.”

“The observed upper ocean cooling since 2005 is not consistent with the hypothesis that anthropogenic aerosols directly [...]