Most of the world's waters may be warming as a result of climate change, but a new study shows that the deepest parts of the Pacific Ocean still appear to be cooling down hundreds of years after the period in history known as the "Little Ice Age."
According to a report from Science Daily, a team of researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) and Harvard University discovered that there has been a "lag" of a few centuries in terms of temperature change in the deep Pacific. This part of the ocean, the report stressed, is still seemingly cooling and adjusting to the temperature drops of the Little Ice Age while the rest of the Pacific gets warmer as a result of modern factors.
"These waters are so old and haven't been near the surface in so long, they still 'remember' what was going on hundreds of years ago when Europe experienced some of its coldest winters in history," commented WHOI physical oceanographer Jake Gebbie, lead author of the new study.
As documented in a paper that was published Friday in the journal Science, the researchers created a model simulating how the deep Pacific's temperature might react to changes in climate on the surface, then compared the data from the model against two historical sources. These sources included ocean temperature data taken in the 1870s by scientists aboard the HMS Challenger and temperatures gathered over a century later, through the World Ocean Circulation Experiment in the 1990s.