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RaenorShine

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North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« on: March 23, 2015, 06:45:38 PM »
Just found what looks to be a major new paper in nature climate change showing slow down in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC, also known as the gult stream etc), and also showing thisis unprecedented in the last 1000 years.

The paper is paywalled, but there is already several blog posts in what looks to be a coordinated release

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2554.html
Quote
Exceptional twentieth-century slowdown in Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation
Stefan Rahmstorf,    Jason E. Box, Georg Feulner,   
    Michael E. Mann, Alexander Robinson,    Scott Rutherford & Erik J. Schaffernicht


Possible changes in Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) provide a key source of uncertainty regarding future climate change. Maps of temperature trends over the twentieth century show a conspicuous region of cooling in the northern Atlantic. Here we present multiple lines of evidence suggesting that this cooling may be due to a reduction in the AMOC over the twentieth century and particularly after 1970. Since 1990 the AMOC seems to have partly recovered. This time evolution is consistently suggested by an AMOC index based on sea surface temperatures, by the hemispheric temperature difference, by coral-based proxies and by oceanic measurements. We discuss a possible contribution of the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet to the slowdown. Using a multi-proxy temperature reconstruction for the AMOC index suggests that the AMOC weakness after 1975 is an unprecedented event in the past millennium (p > 0.99). Further melting of Greenland in the coming decades could contribute to further weakening of the AMOC.
Stefan Rahmstorf has posted this to Real Climate
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/03/whats-going-on-in-the-north-atlantic/

Video Interviews and commentery by Peter Sinclair



http://climatecrocks.com/2015/03/23/a-nasty-surprise-in-the-greenhouse-new-paper-new-video/

(added direct link to youtube interviews)
PS please move to another section if needed Neven, wasn't sure where this belongs!
« Last Edit: March 23, 2015, 07:03:07 PM by RaenorShine »

RaenorShine

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2015, 06:55:24 PM »
Jason Box comments on his blog (http://www.meltfactor.org/blog/)

Quote
Based on this AMOC reconstruction, the study finds that the slowdown of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) after 1975
   
  • appears unprecedented in the past millennium;
  • is expected to continue, even intensify through year 2100, as simulated with the MPI-ESM-MR global climate model of the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg (Jungclaus and others, 2013)
  • may result to a large degree from Greenland melting.
     
(Direct link to post is not working at present, but is http://www.meltfactor.org/blog/a-conspicuous-area-of-cold/

Sigmetnow

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2015, 09:22:52 PM »
Greg Laden has a blog post on it.  The video at the bottom intercuts scientists from today and clips from the disaster movie, "The Day After Tomorrow."    :-\

New Research Shows Exceptional Slowdown In Major Atlantic Ocean Currents
http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/03/23/new-research-shows-exceptional-slowdown-in-major-atlantic-ocean-currents/
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wili

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"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

AbruptSLR

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2015, 09:55:44 PM »
First, the following link may lead to a complimentary copy of article by the Washington Post.  Second, I attach the first & second figures from the article (see the caption for the first figure at end of the post).  Finally, I would like to point-out that the formation of Antarctic Bottom Water, AABW, also contributes to the speed of the AMOC and the rate of production of AABW has slowed in recent years; so the exceptional slow-down of the AMOC (which naturally oscillates) may not be exclusively due to ice melting from Greenland.

Stefan Rahmstorf, Jason E. Box, Georg Feulner, Michael E. Mann, Alexander Robinson, Scott Rutherford and Erik J. Schaffernicht, (2015), "Exceptional twentieth-century slowdown in Atlantic Ocean over turning circulation", Nature Climate Change, DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE2554

http://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2554.epdf?referrer_access_token=djhLLqtPdDNATUwJf44DRdRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0NAhBvJD3qQKAFJ5ZYnRB2DfVKqstvbeSrKxpKUhj2SxF7BcI_loegLGlYCV27ok_Njli4FpCNFd520NkNH-gNy_R7BHOTlk8WVlOM-EydqJ_fXB_3x-E3hIshOeW5WWHqcaPgYVH6Ha2paJACMrQS0vL1bzMOuRrJUW7F2fIb6zTOfarfleGahqDJs4nRADLaiLU5g6rQIKxir0Igbm9o6CWHumkVB6-NveR4QQcF04yFUDA2eESQkZFHTbg4BEjL4NRYUqzDNwfzQCuzM7uRDviUJ3rOglH4F30jdZAuf9g%3D%3D&tracking_referrer=www.washingtonpost.com

Caption for first figure: "Figure 1 | Linear trends of surface temperature since AD 1901. Based on
the temperature data of NASA GISS (ref. 48). a, Global equal area map (Hammer projection) for 1901–2013; white indicates insufficient data. b, Same analysis for the North Atlantic sector for 1901–2000. In addition to the observed temperature trends b also shows the grid points (black
circles) of the subpolar-gyre region for which time series are shown in Figs 3 and 5, as well as the model-average 2◦C cooling contour (white) from a climate model intercomparison in which the models were subject to a strong AMOC reduction induced by adding a freshwater anomaly to the northern Atlantic. The geographic extent of the model-predicted temperature response to an AMOC reduction coincides well with the region of observed twentieth-century cooling. The models are forced more strongly and cooling extends further west as a result of shutting down Labrador Sea convection, which has only briefly happened in the real world so far. (Note that the second cooling patch in central Africa is in a region of poor data coverage and may be an artifact of data inhomogeneities.)"
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wili

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2015, 10:12:21 PM »
Another partly related video:
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

werther

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2015, 10:42:27 PM »
This certainly is news to watch. I've been pondering it over and over while analyzing the means at hand.
From a post on 24 Dec ('weird weather'-thread):
"I have spent hours doing NCEP/NCAR reanalysis correlations on Skin Surface Temps and so on. The idea was to look for clues whether the characteristics of the last two Arctic seasons could tell me anything in context to abrupt change in the form of a Heinrich-/D-O Event? I had the GIS-melt 2012 in mind, though a 500+ Gt loss is small compared to the massive meltwaterpulses that have ended the Weichselien. The loss is even small compared to the yearly freshening in the Arctic Ocean through melt and rivers. "

And from one on the 28th ('Home brewn'-thread):
"The geomorphology in the Arctic is very different. Feedbacks possibly contributing to a temporary stage in the Arctic are not comparable to those at work around Antarctica. What could be at work, though, is a change in the Overturning Circulation. It could at the same time contribute to grounding line retreat of Antarctic ice shelves and sea-ending glaciers as well as affect winter and summer atmospheric pressure configuration over the Arctic."

I would be really surprised if my layman's fear would be confirmed through scientific research. I'm already inclined to be convinced.
The strong ridging over the far N Atlantic last summer. SST's in the Barentsz Sea lowest in 10-14 years, it would all be in line with this news. Even a comparatively small GIS-meltwater contribution could be in excess in an already vulnerable system.

LRC1962

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2015, 11:00:21 PM »
Doing a quick and dirty google search, a couple of articles catch my eye.
Impact of a 30 % reduction in Atlantic meridional overturning
during 2009–2010
.
Could this mean we are in a permanent state or a reoccuring state that will become longer and more frequent?
The Potential for Abrupt Change in the Atlantic
Meridional Overturning Circulation
.
Although this article downplays the possibility of it happening it does give possible outcomes if it does.
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LRC1962

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2015, 11:13:13 PM »
"All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second,  it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
       - Arthur Schopenhauer

wili

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2015, 11:33:45 PM »
I thought there was a major report on possible abrupt climate change events a few months ago that basically said that this was one we don't have to worry about. IIRC, the other event they said not to worry about was sudden methane release from ESAS... :o
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

LRC1962

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2015, 12:01:35 AM »
If you read what was said by the three major authors is that the models say it would not happen. Their conclusion is that (can not find exact quote), either models do not account for how sensitive AMOC is, or have not accounted for how much fresh water Greenland is pouring into the ocean, or a combination of the two. In any case the data says the models have got it very wrong on the conservative side.
As Dr. Allen has said (who tends to be conservative) "we do not know what the slope will be, the problem is that all the questionable results are the extreme upslope." In other words Global warming is not in question it is all on how fast and how bad, and all the questioning is about how very bad and how very fast it will be. Not on how little the effects will be.
Seems another case that the most optimistic are having a problem selling their said because the data is telling a worse and worse story.
"All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second,  it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
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sidd

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2015, 12:10:30 AM »
There is also increase in precip in N Atlantic, and increased freshwater flux, for detail see Peterson(2006) doi:10.1126/science.1122593 and the very nice Curry references therein for increased P-E (be not afraid, this is the good Curry, not the evil one)

Sigmetnow

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2015, 12:16:44 AM »
The news is spreading fast on Twitter -- but not always very clearly....  ;)

@MichaelEMann: "Atlantic Circulation Weaker Than In Last Thousand Years" @JohnUpton for @ClimateCentral: http://t.co/6DasDTGdRH

@docfreeride: Having lots of journalists in my feed means I read [the above tweet] & thought, "Why is @MichaelEMann tweeting about magazines?"

@MichaelEMann: .@docfreeride Hah! Took me a moment...
Pretty sure @TheAtlantic wasn't in print during the Medieval area ;-)

@docfreeride: .@MichaelEMann @TheAtlantic There's "old media" and then there's OLD media!
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LRC1962

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2015, 10:39:09 AM »
BTW It will not mean ocean currents will come to a standstill as the spin of the earth will still force water to move around, it just will mean they could be radically different then they have been historically. That in turn will mean that traditional weather patterns will also be greatly affected.
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johnm33

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2015, 11:20:01 AM »
The consensus seems to be that this is to do with Greenland melt, what I would like ruled out is that this is actually caused by the freshest arctic water, from siberian rivers the pacific or melt, escaping from the arctic through the archipelago/nares. This is what I would expect if we have low density ice floating high in the ocean not inhibiting the flow of water beneath.

sofouuk

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2015, 12:36:42 PM »
you can probably rule that out. it's greenland

Neven

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2015, 08:34:14 PM »
PS please move to another section if needed Neven, wasn't sure where this belongs!

Thanks for opening this topic, RoS, but I'll move it to the Consequences Category if that's okay, as this doesn't really have that much to do with Arctic sea ice.
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jai mitchell

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2015, 09:01:37 PM »
Good Writeup

http://www.vox.com/2015/3/23/8277345/atlantic-overturning-circulation

Quote
Now, a new study in Nature Climate Change argues the Atlantic overturning already seems to be weakening dramatically. The researchers, led by Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research, created a novel reconstruction of the AMOC's behavior going back centuries. They conclude the system hasn't been this weak in 1,100 years, perhaps due to an influx of freshwater from Greenland's melting ice sheet. (This contrasts with previous research suggesting the AMOC was still fluctuating in natural cycles.)

So how worrisome is this? For now, most scientists remain confident we won't see a sudden shutdown anytime soon. Mainstream climate models have long predicted that the AMOC would eventually weaken as the Earth warms, but those models don't forecast huge, abrupt changes this century.

In their study, Rahmstorf and his co-authors point out that Greenland has been melting significantly in the past few decades. That influx of cool freshwater can reduce the surface density of ocean water in the North Atlantic and, in turn, weaken the AMOC. If that's true, then the AMOC is already slowing down due to climate change, not fluctuating naturally:

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LRC1962

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2015, 01:52:12 AM »
The consensus seems to be that this is to do with Greenland melt, what I would like ruled out is that this is actually caused by the freshest arctic water, from siberian rivers the pacific or melt, escaping from the arctic through the archipelago/nares. This is what I would expect if we have low density ice floating high in the ocean not inhibiting the flow of water beneath.
Early stages maybe, but now highly unlikely. Location of cold spot and currents around Greenland give a pretty close match.
The question that comes to my mind is: Is the AMOC that sensitive to fresh water, or are we underestimating how much melt is going on in Greenland?
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johnm33

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2015, 12:15:19 PM »
I think an isotope analysis of the water in the cold spot should settle it. Looking at the abstract they are clearly hedging, and are far from certain themselves. http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/pdf/nclimate2554.pdf Lots of possibles and suggestings, not saying they're wrong but I've been watching what I think is a lot of Pacific water coming through to Baffin all winter. Good animation of the cold anomoly-  http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/clim/sst.anom.anim.year.html

RaenorShine

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2015, 05:01:38 PM »
Stefan Rahmstorf has issued a follow up blog on RealCimate exploring the possible links between the slow down in the AMOC and the recent Polar Vortex in NE USA.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/03/a-hypothesis-about-the-cold-winter-in-eastern-north-america/

Quote
A hypothesis about the cold winter in eastern North America
The past winter was globally the warmest on record. At the same time it set a new cold record in the subpolar North Atlantic – and it was very cold in the eastern parts of North America. Are these things related?

jai mitchell

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2015, 08:50:30 PM »
He is placing the cart before the horse on that one.

Aerosol forcing has yielded similar north pacific blocking patterns.  Those, in and of themselves, are enough to establish a standing rossby wave pattern that would produce an offshore cooling in the north atlantic.
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Artful Dodger

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2015, 06:03:49 AM »
The paper is paywalled, but there is already several blog posts in what looks to be a coordinated release

Hi RaenorShine,

That's a good paper on a very important topic. There is now a PDF available at Penn State: (thx MM, u da man!)  8)

Rahmstorf, Stefan, et al. "Exceptional twentieth-century slowdown in Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation." Nature Climate Change (2015).

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LRC1962

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2015, 06:25:31 AM »

(thx MM, u da man!)  8)


Cheers,
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O/T Anyone who does not believe in the hockey stick has a problem. Every study I have seen in regards to climate change has that sharp dangerous curve no matter what the topic is.
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Artful Dodger

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2015, 08:11:46 AM »
O/T Anyone who does not believe in the hockey stick has a problem. Every study I have seen in regards to climate change has that sharp dangerous curve no matter what the topic is.
Hi, LRC

Okay then, two Giants when it comes to Winter ice: Jean Béliveau, and MM.  :)

Nonetheless, and in our Arena, the Hockey Stick Lives.

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Laurent

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2015, 08:47:37 PM »
Bidecadal North Atlantic ocean circulation variability controlled by timing of volcanic eruptions
http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150330/ncomms7545/full/ncomms7545.html

Quote
Abstract

While bidecadal climate variability has been evidenced in several North Atlantic paleoclimate records, its drivers remain poorly understood. Here we show that the subset of CMIP5 historical climate simulations that produce such bidecadal variability exhibits a robust synchronization, with a maximum in Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) 15 years after the 1963 Agung eruption. The mechanisms at play involve salinity advection from the Arctic and explain the timing of Great Salinity Anomalies observed in the 1970s and the 1990s. Simulations, as well as Greenland and Iceland paleoclimate records, indicate that coherent bidecadal cycles were excited following five Agung-like volcanic eruptions of the last millennium. Climate simulations and a conceptual model reveal that destructive interference caused by the Pinatubo 1991 eruption may have damped the observed decreasing trend of the AMOC in the 2000s. Our results imply a long-lasting climatic impact and predictability following the next Agung-like eruption.

jai mitchell

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2015, 07:28:46 PM »
Massive North Atlantic cooling indicative of severe AMOC slowdown + Greenland melt

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crandles

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2018, 04:56:19 PM »
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44875508

Quote
Slowing Gulf Stream current to boost warming for 20 years

Thats different interpretation and it is in Nature:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0320-y

Quote
Global surface warming enhanced by weak Atlantic overturning circulation

Quote
Evidence from palaeoclimatology suggests that abrupt Northern Hemisphere cold events are linked to weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)1, potentially by excess inputs of fresh water2. But these insights—often derived from model runs under preindustrial conditions—may not apply to the modern era with our rapid emissions of greenhouse gases. If they do, then a weakened AMOC, as in 1975–1998, should have led to Northern Hemisphere cooling. Here we show that, instead, the AMOC minimum was a period of rapid surface warming. More generally, in the presence of greenhouse-gas heating, the AMOC’s dominant role changed from transporting surface heat northwards, warming Europe and North America, to storing heat in the deeper Atlantic, buffering surface warming for the planet as a whole. During an accelerating phase from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, the AMOC stored about half of excess heat globally, contributing to the global-warming slowdown. By contrast, since mooring observations began3–5 in 2004, the AMOC and oceanic heat uptake have weakened. Our results, based on several independent indices, show that AMOC changes since the 1940s are best explained by multidecadal variability6, rather than an anthropogenically forced trend. Leading indicators in the subpolar North Atlantic today suggest that the current AMOC decline is ending. We expect a prolonged AMOC minimum, probably lasting about two decades. If prior patterns hold, the resulting low levels of oceanic heat uptake will manifest as a period of rapid global surface warming.

Sleepy

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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2018, 05:36:00 PM »
Thanks, need to read that one better but it makes sense after a quick browse.
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Re: North Atlantic Ocean Currents
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2018, 10:08:34 AM »
Omnia mirari, etiam tritissima.
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Science is a jealous mistress and takes little account of a man's feelings.