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

Oceanographic data from Antarctica show that warmer water spills onto the West Antarctic continental shelf, where they warm the shelf. Graphic: S. Schmidtko, ed. C. Kersten, GEOMAR
04.12.2014

Antarctica: Heat comes from the Deep

Scientists observe rising temperatures on the West Antarctic shelf

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Since 1957 biological, chemical and physical data are regularly time measured at the time series station Boknis Eck. Photo: J. Steffen, GEOMAR
01.12.2014

Baltic Sea: Climate Change counteracts decline in eutrophication

GEOMAR scientists publish the first comprehensive analysis of the time series station Boknis Eck

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The British research and supply vessel RRS JAMES CLARK ROSS in the Antarctic ice shelf. Photo: S. Schmidtko, GEOMAR
10.11.2014

Eddies below the Ice

International research team observed previously unknown mixing processes in the Antarctic Ocean

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