Natural variability in the Southern Ocean as a driver of the observed Antarctic sea-ice expansion trends

A team of scientists from Princeton University, NOAA-GFDL, and UCAR performed global climate model simulations, using a newly developed coupled ocean–atmosphere model SPEAR (Seamless System for Prediction and Earth System Research). When this model was driven with changes in past radiative forcing, the model simulation did not reproduce the observed increasing trends in sea-ice concentration around... Continue Reading →

Deglacial atmospheric CO2 increase caused by enhanced abyssal circulations in the Pacific Ocean

Paleo records indicate that during the last deglaciation period (19,000–9,000 years ago) atmospheric CO2 level increased by about 80 ppm. A new study published in Nature Geoscience analysed neodymium (Nd) isotope data in North Pacific sediment cores to find an increase in 14C age of North Pacific subsurface waters sourced from Antarctica indicating an enhanced abyssal overturning... Continue Reading →

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 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 →

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 →

Global atmospheric teleconnections and multidecadal climate oscillations driven by Southern Ocean convection

A 1000-yr control simulation in a low-resolution coupled atmosphere–ocean model from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) family of climate models shows a natural, highly regular multidecadal oscillation between periods of Southern Ocean (SO) open-ocean convection and nonconvective periods. It is shown here that convective periods are associated with warming of the SO sea surface... Continue Reading →

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