Southern Ocean storms cause outgassing of carbon dioxide

Antarctica

A key sentence to note in this report says: ‘Half of all carbon dioxide bound in the world’s oceans is found in the Southern Ocean.’ What impact does the outgassing have on the total carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, which we’re expected to believe is a matter of huge climate concern requiring drastic and expensive measures for decades to come?
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Storms over the waters around Antarctica drive an outgassing of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to a new international study with researchers from the University of Gothenburg. — Phys.org reporting.

The research group used advanced ocean robots for the study, which provides a better understanding of climate change and can lead to better global climate models.

The world’s southernmost ocean, the Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica, plays an important role in the global climate because its waters contain large amounts of carbon dioxide.

A new international study, in which researchers from the University of Gothenburg participated, has examined the complex processes driving air-sea fluxes of gasses, such as carbon dioxide.

Storms bring carbon dioxide-rich waters to the surface

The research group is now delivering new findings that shed light on the area’s important role in climate change.

“We show how the intense storms that often occur in the region increase ocean mixing and bring carbon dioxide-rich waters from the deep to the surface. This drives an outgassing of carbon dioxide from the ocean to the atmosphere. There has been a lack of knowledge about these complex processes, so the study is an important key to understanding the Southern Ocean’s significance for the climate and the global carbon budget”, says Sebastiaan Swart, professor of oceanography at the University of Gothenburg and co-author of the study.

Facilitates better climate models

Half of all carbon dioxide bound in the world’s oceans is found in the Southern Ocean. At the same time, climate change is expected to result in more intense storms in the future. Therefore, it is vital to understand the storms’ impact on the outgassing of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the researchers point out.

“This knowledge is necessary to be able to make more accurate predictions about future climate change. Currently, these environmental processes are not captured by global climate models”, says Marcel du Plessis at the University of Gothenburg, who also participated in the study.

Continued here.

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January 28, 2022 at 05:12AM

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