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News Release 10-115

Stirring It Up: North Pacific Circulation Was Radically Changed by Past Post-Glacial Warming

Study provides insights into major climate swings

Photo of the Pacific ocean.

During past post-glacial warming, the Pacific moderated climate.
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July 9, 2010

View a video interview (clip 1, clip 2, clip 3) with Dr. Axel Timmermann of the University of Hawaii.

A study in the July 9, 2010, issue of Science identifies changes in oceanic circulation that followed past glacial retreat. The article, titled, "Deep Water Formation in the North Pacific during the Last Glacial Termination" is by Axel Timmermann of the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, and his colleagues.

In a video interview, Timmermann summarizes the results of this study, its implications for our understanding of past changes in oceanic circulation, and how the circulation of the North Pacific moderated climate change during glacial retreat. Timmermann says that helping to unlock the mysteries of this period of glacial retreat "helps us understand what drives glacial and interglacial cycles."

The Science study is also discussed in a press release from the University of Hawaii.


Media Contacts
Gisela Speidel, University of Hawaii, (808) 956-9252,
Lily Whiteman, National Science Foundation, (703) 292-8310,

Program Contacts
David Verardo, National Science Foundation, (703) 292-8527,

Axel Timmermann, University of Hawaii, (808) 956-2720,

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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Dr. Timmermann explains the Pacific Ocean's effect on climate during past post-glacial warming.
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Summary of study results
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Dr. Timmermann explains questions raised by his research about future warming.
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The future
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Dr. Timmermann explains the importance of this topic.
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Importance of this topic
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Cover of the July 9, 2010 issue of Science.
This research is detailed in the July 9, 2010 issue of Science.
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