Ocean and Climate

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

Further scientific information can be found on the pages of the Research Division 1: Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics.

News for research topic: "Ocean and Climate"

Ocean surface and sun at the equator. Photo: Sunke Schmidtko/GEOMAR

The gate between the deep ocean and the atmosphere is becoming more impermeable

Nature study shows increasing thickness of the ocean surface mixed layer

A man and a woman in work clothes stand at the stern of a ship and hold a scientific instrument in their hands. Glaciers can be seen in the background.  Photo: Bo Barker Jørgensen

Sediments are Nutrient Mediators in Arctic Fjords

Study shows complex interplay between glaciers and the seabed in Svalbard

View of the stormy Drake Passage from the British research vessel RRS JAMES CLARK ROSS

New factor in the carbon cycle of the Southern Ocean identified

GEOMAR scientists show that besides iron, manganese can also limit the growth of photosynthesis-performing plankton

Co-author Anne Osborne and her colleague Simon Jost work on a sediment core aboard the RV PELAGIA. Photo: W. Brückmann/GEOMAR

Past river activity in northern Africa reveals multiple Sahara greenings

Sediment cores provide a glimpse into the past of one of the most arid regions on earth

A man and a woman standing a ship's bulwark handle a CTD rosette. Photo: Martin Visbeck

A stable ocean circulation in a changing North Atlantic Ocean

New study shows surprising contrast between ocean properties and currents

Schematic illustration of the influence of the ozone layer in the stratosphere on atmospheric dynamics. Graphic: Sabine Haase / GEOMAR

Ozone and the Jetstream: A complex relationship

More complex models are superior in the representation of atmospheric changes

 Ulf Riebesell, Andreas Ludwig and Jan Taucher in der work boat 'Wassermann'

The uncertain future of the oceans

Study analyzes the reaction of plankton communities to increased carbon dioxide

Infographic global N2O budget

Increasing usage of nitrogen fertilizer poses an increasing climate threat

Study in Nature shows sources for rising nitrous oxide concentration in the atmosphere

Arctic Sea Ice

Arctic sea ice: A look back into the future

New study reconstructs development in the last 10,000 years

Changes in sea surface temperature and precipitation in a climate change experiment in the tropical Atlantic region in a coarse (a, c) and high (b, d) resolution model. From Park and Latif, 2020.

Improved models show stronger climate change signal in the tropical Atlantic

Comparative study of the GEOMAR illustrates dependence on model resolution