The role of the ocean in climate change

Temperature and currents at 450 metres depth in the high resolution Kiel ocean model. (Instantaneous values). Source: A. Biastoch, GEOMAR.

The oceans play a central role in global change processes.Major aspects of climate change are associated with the ocean’s heat transport, heat capacity, and the global water cycle. However, oceanic storage, transformation, transport and exchange of radiatively and chemically active gases and particles also exert an influence on climate through their impact on atmospheric radiation transfer. Past climate change has had demonstrable influences on the isotopic and chemical composition of seawater, which permits these signals to be investigated as potential recorders of change. Since exchanges of heat and substances between the ocean, land and the atmosphere operate on time scales ranging from seasons to millennia, they are amongst the most important factors for shaping future global climate change.

Research topics under this headline include:

  • Understanding of Past, Present and Future Overturning Circulation Changes
  • Changes in the Tropics
  • Present and Past Arctic Oceanography and Climate
  • Future Greenhouse Warming: Assessment and Scenarios
  • Past Geochemical Change in the Oceans

 

 

 

News for topic: the role of the ocean in climate change

View over the tropical Southeast Pacific from the research vessel METEOR. As new data show the region is a strong source of natural nitrous oxide. Photo: Kerstin Nachtigall, GEOMAR
22.06.2015

The Southeast Pacific produces more nitrous oxide than previously thought

Kiel marine scientists publish new data on greenhouse gas emissions

more
Recovery of an oceanographic mooring with RV METEOR. Researchers in Europe, the USA, Canada, Brazil and South Africa and other Atlantic-bordering countries are already strongly engaged in observing the ocean. Photo: W. Huneke, GEOMAR
09.06.2015

Improved Observations to Better Understand the Atlantic

The EU large scale research project AtlantOS aims to advance Atlantic ocean observation to become more integrated, more efficient and more sustainable.

more
Schematic diagram of sea surface height changes and the Indonesian throughflow in the past 20 years. Background: sea surface temperature. Source NOAA.
18.05.2015

Indian Ocean hides Global Warming

Marine scientists proof additional heat uptake during the past decades

more