The tropics march in lockstep with the poles

carbon dioxideby david.nikonvscanon

Carbon Dioxide Has Played Leading Role in Dictating Global Climate Patterns
[Via NSF News]

Increasingly, the Earth’s climate appears to be more connected than anyone would have imagined. El Niño, the weather pattern that originates in a patch of the equatorial Pacific, can spawn heat waves and droughts as far away as Africa.

Now, a research team led by Brown University has established that the climate in the tropics over at least the last 2.7 million years changed in lockstep with the cyclical spread and retreat of ice sheets thousands of miles away in the Northern Hemisphere. The findings appear to cement the link between the recent Ice Ages and temperature changes in tropical oceans. Based on that new link, the scientists conclude that carbon dioxide has played the lead role in dictating global climate patterns, beginning with the Ice Ages and continuing today.


Nice bit of data detailing what tropical oceans looked like during multiple Ice Ages and the times in between. It appears that carbon dioxide feedbacks are important and they seem to become stronger as time passes by. Ice Ages have become colder and the inter-glacial periods have become warmer.

The tropics get hotter even as the polar regions heat up. Just some more data indicating that climate change is something we need to get serious about and that reducing carbon dioxide emissions is probably the single biggest step needed.