How could the Atlantic ocean heating cool global surface temperatures?
"We were surprised to find the main cause of the Pacific climate trends of the past 20 years had its origin in the Atlantic Ocean," ...
New research has found rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean, likely caused by global warming, has turbocharged Pacific Equatorial trade winds.
The record-breaking increase in Pacific Equatorial trade winds over the past 20 years had, until now, baffled researchers.
Originally, this trade wind intensification was considered to be a response to Pacific decadal variability. However, the strength of the winds was much more powerful than expected due to the changes in Pacific sea surface temperature.
The solution was found in the rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean basin, which has created unexpected pressure differences between the Atlantic and Pacific. This has produced wind anomalies that have given Pacific Equatorial trade winds an additional big push.
"The rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean created high pressure zones in the upper atmosphere over that basin and low pressure zones close to the surface of the ocean," ...
"The rising air parcels, over the Atlantic eventually sink over the eastern tropical Pacific, thus creating higher surface pressure there.
... the stronger Equatorial trade winds have caused far greater overturning of ocean water in the West Pacific, pushing more atmospheric heat into the ocean, ...
This increased overturning appears to explain much of the recent slowdown in the rise of global average surface temperatures.
"It will be difficult to predict when the Pacific cooling trend and its contribution to the global hiatus in surface temperatures will come to an end," Prof England said.
When it does end, they expect to see some rapid changes, including a sudden acceleration of global average surface temperatures. [emphasis mine]