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Scientists attribute lower than expected temperatures to Pacific trade winds

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An unprecedented growth in the intensity of Pacific Ocean trade winds has produced an unexpected lowering of global temperatures according to new research conducted by Professor Matthew England, Chief Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of New South Wales, and colleagues that was published in the Feb. 9, 2014, edition of the journal Nature Climate Change.

The 13 year increase in the Pacific trade wind intensity has produced a transfer of heat from the atmosphere to the ocean thus preventing expected rapid increase in global temperature.

This research is the first climate model that has taken the trade winds in the Pacific into account in the projection of future atmospheric temperatures and the examination of ocean and atmospheric temperatures in the last 30 years.

The inclusion of the Pacific trade wind effect to present climate and global temperature models produced a near exact alignment of past atmospheric data and model projections.

The hiatus in global temperature increase is predicted to end within the next decade. The scientists predict that a large scale atmospheric temperature climb is the probable result of a decrease in Pacific trade winds. The heat that was captured by the ocean is expected to be released quickly because the heat is stored at relatively shallow depths in the Pacific.

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