The role of the ocean in climate change

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

Dr. Mengis visiting the Mauna Loa CO2 observational station on Hawaii. Photo: E. Frenken.
03.06.2020

Limiting global warming - increasing importance of non-fossil greenhouse gases 

Map of the North Sea with the two dam projects. From Groeskamp / Kjellsson, 2020).
17.02.2020

Gigantic dam to protect North Sea countries

Scientists propose damming of the North Sea

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
06.09.2019

Strong Gulfstream System in the Miocene does not contradict Models

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

Coral reefs off the coast of the Mexican peninsula Yucatan near groundwater sources (Ojos). Photo: Elizabeth D. Crook
08.08.2019

Stony corals: Limits of adaption

New study on coral growth in times of climate change

Plankton communities. Photo: A. Stuhr, GEOMAR (CC BY 4.0)
22.05.2019

Plankton as a climate driver instead of the sun?

A new view on past climate change

Buoy collecting atmospheric and ocean data in the tropical Pacific. Photo: NOAA/PMEL.
21.05.2019

Tropical Pacific variability key for successful climate forecasts

Sparse data as bottleneck identified

The south Atlantic 59 million years ago. Grafik: Graphic: Sietske Batenburg
23.11.2018

How the Atlantic Ocean became Part of the Global Circulation

Scientists discover an important climatic tipping point

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

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

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