Thursday, January 26, 2017

Antarctic Bottom Waters Freshening at Unexpected Rate

Shift could disturb ocean circulation and hasten sea level rise, researchers say

In some places along the Antarctic coast, ice formation causes seawater to grow saltier and therefore denser, so that it sinks to the sea floor. Known as the Antarctic Bottom Waters (AABW), these deep, cold waters play a critical role in regulating circulation, temperature, and availability of oxygen and nutrients throughout the world's oceans. (Credit: Eric Taylor, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) Click to Enlarge.
In the cold depths along the sea floor, Antarctic Bottom Waters are part of a global circulatory system, supplying oxygen-, carbon- and nutrient-rich waters to the world's oceans.  Over the last decade, scientists have been monitoring changes in these waters.  But a new study suggests these changes are themselves shifting in unexpected ways, with potentially significant consequences for the ocean and climate.

Read more at Antarctic Bottom Waters Freshening at Unexpected Rate

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