Ocean and Climate

Maintenance of an oceanographic mooring in the tropical Atlantic. Data from such long-term observations help to detect changes in the oceans and to estimate future developments. They are important contributions to the current Special Report of the IPCC. Photo: Michael Schneider / FS METEOR

Focusing on the long-term memory of our climate system

Helmholtz Centres made important contributions to the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and the Cryosphere

In the Miocene the land bridge near modern Panama was not yet closed. Relatively fresh water from the Pacific reached the Caribbean. This has been shown, for example, by studies in the Central Caribbean (ODP1000).  Sediment samples taken from ODP1006 now show, however, that between 11.5 and 9.5 million years before today this relatively low-salt water did not leave the Caribbean and thus could not influence the North Atlantic circulation. Graphic: Anne Osborne/GEOMAR

Strong Gulfstream System in the Miocene does not contradict Models

Study shows separation between Caribbean and North Atlantic 10 million years ago

Currently, organic material in the ocean is mainly degraded with oxygen (left). Together with a warming of the ocean this leads to deoxygenation. In a future, warmer ocean (right), more organic material is respirated by denitrification with nitrate. The associated oxygen saving would even exceed the oxygen loss due to warming. Graphic: Rita Erven/GEOMAR

The far–future ocean: warm yet oxygen-rich

Model study identifies an oxygen-saving mechanism from sloppy nitrogen-cycle interactions

A diver next to a mesocosm off the coast of Gran Canaria. Photo: Michael Sswat/GEOMAR (CC BY 4.0)

Ocean acidification stimulates mass development of toxic algae

Long-term experiment reveals disruption of the pelagic food web under high CO2 conditions

The graph shows precipitation (minus evaporation) over the Indian Ocean from June to August. The points mark the places of origin of previously used climate archives. The two points in the Andaman Sea mark the new sediment cores that have been used for the first time. Graphic: Daniel Gebregiorgis

One million years of precipitation history of the monsoon reconstructed

Sediment cores allow new insights into the mechanisms of this climate phenomenon

Dr. Mark Hopwood during a measurement campaign on the coast of Greenland. Photo: Thomas Juul-Pedersen / GCRC

Glacier depth affects plankton blooms off Greenland

Study shows complex connection between meltwater discharge and nutrient input

The Irminger Sea seen from the research vessel MARIA S. MERIAN. It is one of the few regions in the world where deep convection occurs. The process is a key component global ocean circulation system. Photo: Arne Bendinger / GEOMAR

Warm summers could weaken ocean circulation

Long-term observations reveal the influence of increased surface freshening on convection in the subpolar North Atlantic

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