[PAST EVENT] Abrupt climate change and CO2: The bipolar seesaw vs. the winds

November 4, 2011
3:30pm - 4:30pm
VIMS - Watermen's Hall, McHugh Auditorium
1375 Greate Road
Gloucester Point, VA 23062Map this location
Robert Anderson
Ewing Lamont Research Professor
Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory
Columbia University, New York

"Abrupt climate change and CO2: The bipolar seesaw vs. the winds"

Reception at 3:00 pm in Watermen's Hall Lobby
Seminar from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm in McHugh Auditorium

Dr. Anderson received his PhD in Chemical Oceanography in 1981 from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution-Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His current position is as a Ewing-Lamont Research Professor (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory) and Adjunct Professor (Columbia University), New York, USA. His research interests include chemical oceanography and paleoclimatology, emphasizing past changes in ocean biology, chemistry, and physics that cause atmospheric CO2 to vary with climate.

Changes in Southern Hemisphere winds, forced by extremely cold "stadial" events in the North Atlantic region, are inferred to have caused increased upwelling in the Southern Ocean, warming of Antarctica, and rising atmospheric CO2 during the termination of the last ice age. Similar north-south connections occurred throughout the last ice age, indicating that these processes represent an integral component of Earth's varying climate. However, coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models do not show a shift in the latitude of the southern westerlies between glacial and interglacial conditions. Instead, model results support the view that the north-south coupling is driven by changes in ocean heat transport, known as the bipolar seesaw. The presentation will review evidence to link upwelling in the Southern Ocean to changes in atmospheric CO2, and discuss evidence in support of climate-related changes in the position of the southern westerlies.

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