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Posted Tue Feb 17 2009: from New Scientist:
North Atlantic is world's 'climate superpower'
IF EVER there was a superpower of the oceans, the North Atlantic, with its ability to control global weather systems, is it. The bad news is that this region also happens to be especially sensitive to the effects of climate change, so what is happening there could affect the world. The planet's climate goes through periodic convulsions that affect every region simultaneously. The most recent were in the early 1940s and mid-1970s. The latter coincided with the start of more frequent El Nino events in the Pacific and a strong global warming trend.... But the findings will leave most climate scientists more worried. Today's climate is changing most dramatically in the far North Atlantic, with record warming and ice loss in recent years. If the climate's "tipping point" resides in these waters, then nature's synchronised chaos could unleash unexpectedly sudden and severe consequences.
[Read more stories about: faster than expected, ocean warming, arctic meltdown, tipping point]

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