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

Samples of Lithothamnion glaciale in the lab. Photo: Federica Ragazzola
08.02.2016

Ocean acidification softens important benthic habitat former

Coralline red alga form less robust cells under elevated carbon dioxide levels

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Temperature fluctuations of  the past 130,000 years, reconstructed from ice-core data obtained in Greenland. A major goal of the PalMod project is to simulate this epoch with a state-of-the-art model. Illustration: GEOMAR
05.02.2016

130,000 years of Earth's history for better climate predictions

German joint project PalMod to decipher the causes of past climate changes started

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The Cape Verdean research vessel ISLANDIA has been used to take samples from the low-oxygen eddy. Photo: B. Fiedler, GEOMAR
11.01.2016

Low oxygen eddies open up new views on the Atlantic Ocean

Kiel Marine Sciences show previously unknown biological processes in the Atlantic

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