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 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
08.11.2018

One million years of precipitation history of the monsoon reconstructed

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

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Negative emissions that could lead to the 1.5° climate target are still subject to many uncertainties. Graphic: Rita Erven/GEOMAR
11.10.2018

Do we need technical measures for CO2 removal to achieve the 1.5° target?

DFG Priority Programme Publishes Video on the Role of Negative Emissions

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Numerous factors - including the sea surface temperature, currents, edddies, biogeochemical processes - influence the oxygen content of the oceans. So far, models do not represent all processes correctly and therefore underestimate the oxygen loss of the oceans. Graphic: Rita Erven/GEOMAR
11.06.2018

Further Drivers of Ocean Deoxygenation identified

GEOMAR oceanographers reveal gaps in previous model calculations

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