Thursday, January 04, 2018

New Study Identifies Thermometer for Global Ocean

West Antarctica Ice Sheet Divide Ice Core (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
There's a new way to measure the average temperature of the ocean thanks to researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.  In an article published in the Jan. 4, 2018, issue of the journal Nature, geoscientist Jeff Severinghaus and colleagues at Scripps Oceanography and institutions in Switzerland and Japan detailed their ground-breaking approach.

Determining changes in the average temperature of the entire world's ocean has proven to be a nearly impossible task due to the distribution of different water masses.  Each layer of water can have drastically different temperatures, so determining the average over the entirety of the ocean's surface and depths presents a challenge.

Severinghaus and colleagues were able to bypass these obstacles by determining the value indirectly.  Instead of measuring water temperature, they determined the ratio of noble gases in the atmosphere, which are in direct relation to the ocean's temperature.

"This method is a radically new way to measure change in total ocean heat," said Severinghaus.  "It takes advantage of the fact that the atmosphere is well-mixed, so a single measurement anywhere in the world can give you the answer."

Read more at New Study Identifies Thermometer for Global Ocean

No comments:

Post a Comment