Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in 2070, under low and high emissions scenarios

A team of experts in biology, oceanography, glaciology, geophysics, climate science and policy, analyzed the potential impacts of two different future scenarios of carbon emissions, RCP2.6 (low emission & strong action) and RCP 8.5 (high emission & weak action), on Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The team assessed key systems including  global average air temperature; Antarctic contribution... Continue Reading →

Antarctic ice sheet lost 2,720 ± 1,390 billion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017

A team of scientists leading the ice sheet mass balance inter-comparison exercise (IMBIE) combined satellite observations of the Antarctic ice sheet, its changing volume, flow and gravitational attraction with modelling of its surface mass balance from 1992 to 2017.  Their report, recently published in Nature, showed that the Antarctic ice sheet lost 2,720 ± 1,390 billion tonnes of... Continue Reading →

Antarctic ice shelf disintegration triggered by sea ice loss and ocean swell

Understanding the causes of recent catastrophic ice shelf disintegrations is a crucial step towards improving coupled models of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and predicting its future state and contribution to sea-level rise. An overlooked climate-related causal factor is regional sea ice loss. Here we show that for the disintegration events observed (the collapse of the... Continue Reading →

Sustained climate warming drives declining marine biological productivity

In the Southern Ocean, nutrient-rich North Atlantic Deep Water upwells to the surface, and the northward surface water sinks at mid-depth (as Subantarctic Mode Water and Antarctic Intermediate Water) and transports nutrients into the low-latitude thermocline. According to a recent article appeared in Science, climate model simulations under RCP 8.5 scenario project that the Antarctic... Continue Reading →

Antarctic volcanic eruption linked to the onset of the most rapid global climate change during the end of the last ice age

Cold and dry glacial-state climate conditions persisted in the Southern Hemisphere until approximately 17.7 ka, when paleoclimate records show a largely unexplained sharp, nearly synchronous acceleration in deglaciation. Detailed measurements in Antarctic ice cores document exactly at that time a unique, ∼192-y series of massive halogen-rich volcanic eruptions geochemically attributed to Mount Takahe in West... Continue Reading →

Meridional overturning circulation conveys fast acidification to the deep Atlantic Ocean posing a severe threat to cold-water coral habitats.

Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are increasing the acidity of the oceans and reducing carbonate-ion concentrations, making it difficult for corals to maintain their calcium carbonate skeletons. This paper reports a roughly 40 per cent reduction in the transport of carbonate ions to the deep North Atlantic ocean since preindustrial times, with implications for cold-water... Continue Reading →

Net retreat of Antarctic glacier grounding lines

Grounding lines are a key indicator of ice-sheet instability, because changes in their position reflect imbalance with the surrounding ocean and affect the flow of inland ice. Although the grounding lines of several Antarctic glaciers have retreated rapidly due to ocean-driven melting, records are too scarce to assess the scale of the imbalance. Here, we... Continue Reading →

Is AMOC slowing down?

A recent article appeared in Nature  suggested that the AMOC has been very weak during the past 150 years since the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA) , and that enhanced freshwater fluxes from the Arctic and Nordic seas towards the end of the LIA weakened Labrador Sea convection and thus the AMOC. They... Continue Reading →

Significant changes in the nutrient, carbon, and trace metal balances of the Arctic Ocean are underway

Rising temperatures in the Arctic Ocean region are responsible for changes such as reduced ice cover, permafrost thawing, and increased river discharge, which, together, alter nutrient and carbon cycles over the vast Arctic continental shelf. We show that the concentration of radium-228, sourced to seawater through sediment-water exchange processes, has increased substantially in surface waters... Continue Reading →

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