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climate710 - Big melt seen in Antarctic past, maybe future...

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Big melt seen in Antarctic past, maybe future Warming occurred regularly, with large rise in sea level, researchers say WASHINGTON - New information on regular melting in Antarctica's distant past is giving scientists a glimpse into what may be a flooded future as the planet warms up. The West Antarctic ice sheet collapsed periodically between 3 million and 5 million years ago, adding more than 16 feet to global sea level, according to the first examination of soil cores far below the surface of the Ross ice shelf. Also, new computer models suggest that warmer waters nearby attacked the ice from below, triggering those collapses.
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Massive floods in Peru •Economic troubles in Peru     (failure of the anchovy industry) •Drought/Wildfires in Australia •Drought in Brazel •Heavy rains in the southern United States •Fewer Atlantic hurricanes (but more Pacific hurricanes) •Failure of the Southeast Asian Monsoon among other affected areas around the globe. El Niño / Southern Oscillation variations can be devastating for many parts of the world. Some areas and how they are influenced include:
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The common abbreviation for the whole set of phenomena that we will be discussing today is ENSO The abbreviation stands for the two distinct aspects of the phenomenon: E l N iño: the ocean current S outhern O scillation: the atmospheric circulation So what do these parts of ENSO do?
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El Niño: A Spanish term meaning "The Child"—specifically, the Christ Child, referring to the time of the year when El Niño is most noticeable in South America around Christmas in the months of December and January . El Niño historically refers a massive warming of the coastal waters off Peru and Ecuador. It is accompanied by torrential rainfall, often resulting in catastrophic flooding. El Niño events have been documented back to 1726 and there is other evidence indicating occurrences for at least 1000 prior to that. Paleoclimatic research has also suggested the possibility of El Niño events back 5000 years.
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Southern Oscillation: The subtropical circulation (air flow) that exists in the southern Pacific Ocean, specifically between the ocean off the coast of western South America and Australia. The atmospheric component of ENSO, the Southern Oscillation, is a more recent discovery. Although the term is sometimes used to refer to the global complex of climatic variations, the Southern Oscillation is specifically an oscillation in surface pressure (and thus atmospheric mass) between the southeastern tropical Pacific (the South Pacific subtropical high) and Australian-Indonesian regions (the Indonesian low). We have a better understanding of how ENSO works than almost any other global phenomena. So how does it work?
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The Theory of ENSO Sir Gilbert Walker is considered the early leader in describing relations between the sea level pressure shifts (the Southern Oscillation) and climate variations around the globe in the early part of this century. He failed, however, to address the oceanic element of the phenomenon, El Niño.
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2011 for the course GPH 414 taught by Professor Cerveny during the Spring '10 term at ASU.

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climate710 - Big melt seen in Antarctic past, maybe future...

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