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

The Cape Verdean research vessel ISLANDIA has been used to take samples from the low-oxygen eddy. Photo: B. Fiedler, GEOMAR
07.07.2017

Extreme low-oxygen Eddies in the Atlantic produce Greenhouse Gases

International research team discovers previously unknown processes in the Atlantic

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Model of an island volcano. During the last transition to glacial conditions the decreasing pressure at the seafloor could have induced increased lava- and carbon dioxide emissions. Graphic: Jörg Hasenclever
06.07.2017

Falling Sea Level caused Volcanos to Overflow

A Team of international researches found new connections between the solid earth and the climate system

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Autumn temperature change in the Arctic and on global scale (a) and Arctic vs. global warming rates (b). Sources: GEOMAR.
04.07.2017

Seasonality of Sea Ice Enhances Climate Warming in the Arctic

Largest changes are expected to happen already within the next decade

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