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North pacific cool-down: 1940s-1960s

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DOI: 10.4236/ns.2010.28112    4,105 Downloads   7,446 Views Citations


Between the 1940s and the 1960s there was a significant lowering of the surface temperatures of the central North Pacific. This cool-down is discussed on the basis of analyses of a very large surface temperature data base, covering most of the North Pacific, which began in 1947 and continued for at least 30 years afterwards. A surface area more than 20 degrees of latitude by approximately 70 degrees of longitude, centered on 40°N, cooled down within about a ten year period by typically 0.5℃ and by as much as 1.0℃. Previously a permanent surface and near surface circulation was proposed in which a shallow very broad warm surface layer flows northeastward at mid-latitudes on the eastern side of the North Pacific while colder water returns southward to the east, west and underneath the warm surface current. It is suggested that variations in this hypothesized circulation, due to natural causes not yet completely understood, potentially provide a mechanism for producing a cooling down (or warming up) of a large region of the central North Pacific at mid-latitudes in a relatively short period of time (ten years or less).

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Kenyon, K. (2010) North pacific cool-down: 1940s-1960s. Natural Science, 2, 911-914. doi: 10.4236/ns.2010.28112.

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