Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Trancing With The Stars

Fig. 1 WOW. original data
Regular commenters Mark and randy wanted to know about the West Coast of South America, in terms of what the WOD data show is going on there.

Yesterday's post had some ocean temperature cooling which induced Mark to look closer at the cooling ocean in the Caribbean, which is generally a warm water locale.

He discovered that glacial waters are flowing from the Columbian Andes into that ocean area to cause cooling of the ocean in that WOD zone (7107).

Fig. 2 One line deleted
I thought to myself, since that is a good example (readers who question and are cautious) I would go ahead and do the west coast for them.

Well, I ran into a mystery myself while preparing the graphs.

In the year 1980, in WOD zones 5407 and 5507, there was an odd and seemingly anomalous temperature recorded for those zones.

After I did a graph, I removed the questionable year-1980 line from the CSV file and then generated another graph with the year-1980 data in it.

The graph at Fig. 1 is the graph with the year-1980 line of data in it, and Fig. 2 is the exact same CSV file with that one (year-1980) line removed.

Fig. 3 WOD Zones W. Coast S. America
What a difference one line can make eh?

The one line had all seven depths, and when removed it impacted all levels for the year involved.

Now, let me tell you what I went through so I would not become infected with the "Dunning-Krueger effect".

I did queries on millions of lines of data in the SQL "rawwod" database, then noticed where those two WOD zones are (the ones that had the surprising year-1980 data in them).

It so happens that those two zones are located in the area of Patagonia, where the Southern Patagonian Ice Field is (southern tip of S. America).

Interestingly, Lautaro (a volcano in that ice field) erupted near the time frame of that cold water temperature surge (Lautaro Volcano):
Lautaro Glacier (Glaciar Lautaro), also called HPS9 glacier (Aniya et al., 2000; Cassasa et al., 2000), has 17 km long and 600 m wide in average, and flows along the western flank of the Lautaro volcano edifice (maximum altitude of 3,607 m a.s.l.), with its terminus at a marine fjord (Fig. 2).
(Geologic reconnaissance of Lautaro Volcano, Chilean Patagonia). "It could happen."

I then remembered that the Greenland Ice Sheet is causing a cold blob of ocean water south of it, by releasing rivers of cold melt water (which shows up in surface temperature maps).
Fig. 4 Patagonia

Assuming that the WOD data are correct, what we have here is an indication of a massive release of melt water into WOD zones 5407 and 5507 circa 1980.

The data also show ocean temperatures recovering and moderating after that (as the sea level graph lines show @ Fig. 1).

Anyway, Fig. 3 shows the WOD zones involved in this exercise along the west coast of S. America.

But also check out Fig. 4 which is a graphic depicting events that include Patagonia.

The "odd graph line" happened in an area where non-intuitive sea level events take place often (like what happens in South Eastern Alaska and elsewhere: Proof of Concept , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).


  1. Many Thanks Dredd for opening up the discussion and re-running the calcs-what a change! Dovetailing with all this is the emerging intensification and rise in surface temp of the 'boundary' currents--the 'fast movers' of the world's currents.

    " “In addition, the currents release at least 20 percent more heat than they did half a century ago, which leads to the conclusion that the temperature of the water has risen, its flow speed has increased and the currents thus transfer more water and also more heat from the tropics towards the pole.”
    Thanks again for letting 'us' into your lab and sharing your knowledge and especially, for your willingness to entertain questions from the 'undergrads'!


    1. Many thanks to you too Mark.

      Keep up the good work ... on my own I am less than I am with you readers asking questions and making suggestions via comments.

      Together we benefit others.

      Benefiting others is one of the sweetnesses of life.

  2. "Ancient Andes glaciers have lost half their ice in just 40 years" - link