COSEE Ocean Systems: News
Global warming felt to deepest reaches of ocean
Description: In the mid-1970s, the first available satellite images of Antarctica during the polar winter revealed a huge ice-free region within the ice pack of the Weddell Sea. This ice-free region, or polynya, stayed open for three full winters before it closed. Subsequent research showed that the opening was maintained as relatively warm waters churned upward from kilometres below the ocean's surface and released heat from the ocean's deepest reaches. But the polynya has not reappeared in the nearly 40 years since it closed. A new study suggests the 1970s polynya may have been the last gasp of what was previously a more common feature of the Southern Ocean, and which is now suppressed due to the effects of climate change on ocean salinity. [Source: McGill University]
Availability: Full Text
Source: McGill University
Publish Date: 3/3/2014
Reading Level: Basic
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