18 September 2010: "Climate Science" is often mentioned in the mainstream press as if it is a singular field. In reality, it combines elements of many scientific specialties, including theoretical and experimental physics, atmospheric science, meteorology and oceanography. As well, other fields such as engineering, economics and computer science factor in. A key concern among many if not most climate realists or "skeptics" is that there continue to be developments in many of these fields, developments that we try to highlight here at ClimateScienceAmerica.org. There may be substantial uncertainties that force assumptions to be made as the state of knowledge of some specific scientific area are incorporated into models or assessments. For example, Global Circulation Models (GCM) serve as a foundation for much of the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory and the expected outcomes of future "man-made climate change." Those computer models are built upon what is presently believed or thought to be true in scientific specialty areas, such as cloud formation dynamics, precipitation mechanisms, and ocean circulation patterns. But what if what is known or believed is incomplete or overturned as faulty?
Oceanographers have long described/thought of ocean circulation patterns as a "giant conveyor belt." But in a peer-reviewed paper recently published in Science ("Deconstructing the Conveyor Belt"), Professor M. Susan Lozier of Duke University discusses this concept, one that was "developed decades ago." She states: "The old model is no longer valid for the ocean’s overturning, not because it’s a gross simplification but because it ignores crucial elements such as eddies and the wind field."
Lozier also says that: “Basically, our ability to refine our understanding of the ocean’s overturning stems in large part from our ever increasing ability to measure the ocean at finer and finer scales and at depths previously unmeasured. Because the ocean waters are corrosive, at high pressure and generally inaccessible, the ocean has historically been a sparsely observed system. Recent technological advances are rapidly expanding the ocean’s observational database and with it, our understanding of ocean circulation.” [emphasis added]
Professor Lozier will soon begin leading a multi-national effort, over five- to ten-year period, to study overturning the North Atlantic. It's unclear what studies are being performed or planned to similarly study other ocean areas.