Depths of the Weddell Sea are warming five times faster than elsewhere

Over the past three decades, the depths of the Antarctic Weddell Sea have warmed five times faster than the rest of the ocean at depths exceeding 2,000 meters. This was the main finding of an article just published by oceanographers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). In the article, they analyze an unprecedented oceanographic time series from the Weddell Sea and show that the warming of the polar depths is chiefly due to changed winds and currents above and in the Southern Ocean. In addition, the experts warn that the warming of the Weddell Sea could permanently weaken the overturning of tremendous water masses that takes place there—with far-reaching consequences for global ocean circulation. Their study was just released on the online portal of the Journal of Climate.

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