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AGU journal highlights -- Feb. 26, 2008
Date:2/26/2008

wind stresses are proportional to those experienced today, the authors discover that below certain thresholds of wind strength, North Atlantic deepwater formation takes place south of Greenland and the AMOC is relatively weak. Above this threshold, deepwater formation occurs farther north, leading to a vigorous AMOC. This suggests that subtle wind variations can significantly influence climate, perhaps even spurring abrupt climate changes.

Title: Surface wind-stress threshold for glacial Atlantic overturning

Authors: Marisa Montoya: Departamento de Astrofsica y Ciencias de la Atmsfera, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain;

Anders Levermann: Earth System Analysis, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany; also at Institute of Physics, Potsdam University, Potsdam, Germany.

Source: Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) paper 10.1029/2007GL032560, 2008; http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2007GL032560


4. Carbon dioxide tied to air pollution mortality

Rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels from burning fossil fuels have been linked to sea level changes, snowmelt, disease, heat stress, severe weather, and ocean acidification. Yet because it does not affect respiration directly, CO2 is not considered a classic air pollutant. Noting that increasing levels of CO2 cause temperature and water vapor content to rise, Jacobson uses photochemistry to determine that these factors independently feed back to increase ground-level ozone concentrations. This can harm lung function and irritate the respiratory system. Using a high-resolution model that correlates pollution levels to human health, the author finds that each one degree Celsius rise in temperature may increase U.S. annual air pollution deaths by about 1000. About 40 percent of these deaths may result from elevated ground-level ozone concentrati
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Contact: Peter Weiss
pweiss@agu.org
202-777-7507
American Geophysical Union
Source:Eurekalert

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