Warm summers could weaken ocean circulationMarch 13, 2018
The temperature and salinity of seawater are key drivers for the global ocean circulation system. Warm and saline water transported poleward cools at the surface when it reaches high latitudes and becomes denser and subsequently sinks into the deep ocean. This process is called convection. At depth, the water is circulated back towards the equator drawing new water masses behind it. Deep convection occurs only in a few regions around the globe, including the Irminger Sea and the Labrador Sea near Greenland. But what happens if additional freshwater, for example from melting glaciers, enters this system? Model calculations predict a possible weakening of deep convection, but so far this could not be confirmed by direct observations.
By using long-term observations, scientists from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel have now shown that freshwater has already impacted convection in the last decade. The results have been published in the international journal Nature Climate Change.
The study is based on the analysis of data obtained from moored observatories in the Labrador Sea and the Irminger See and from oceanographic floats. In addition, satellite observations of the ocean surface and atmospheric data were included. "For various periods over the last 60 years, we have been able to combine important processes: atmospheric variability, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation, water and air temperatures, the occurrence of fresh surface water, and the duration of convection," explains Dr. Marilena Oltmanns from GEOMAR, lead author of the study.
The evaluation of the data show a clear correlation between the sea surface temperatures in the Irminger Sea in summer, the amount of surface freshwater in this region and the atmospheric conditions and onset of convection in the following winter. "In case that warm summers with increased surface freshwater occur within extended warm periods, the ocean loses less heat in the following winter. As a result, the fresh surface layer that formed in summer remains stable for a longer time resulting in a delayed onset of convection", says Dr. Oltmanns.
Typically, freshwater is mixed down by convection each winter. If convection sets in later, a higher proportion of freshwater remains near the surface and combines with freshwater from the following spring. "This effect could add up in future warm periods and thus weaken the convection - especially with regard to the rising temperatures and increased melting", the oceanographer concludes.
The study reveals the importance of long-term observations at key locations of the global ocean circulation. Dr. Johannes Karstensen, co-author of the study, emphasizes: "Only through long-term measurement programmes the connection between the complex oceanic and atmospheric processes can be identified. Thus, the continuous funding of personnel, ships and material is important--which in this case was provided through the support of individual projects of the German Science Foundation DFG, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research."
Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR)
Related Science Articles:
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.
AAAS, the world's largest general scientific organization, announced Thursday that it will partner with the March for Science, a nonpartisan set of activities that aim to promote science education and the use of scientific evidence to inform policy.
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.
A Master Agreement will focus on improving agriculture with non-destructive imaging technology for root growth dynamics.
Ten images and two videos by University of Wisconsin-Madison students, faculty and staff have been named winners of the 2016 Cool Science Image contest.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and Popular Science magazine today announced the winners of the 2016 Vizzies, awards that celebrate the use of visual media to clearly and accessibly communicate scientific data and research.
At the Opening Ceremony of World Science Forum 2015 under the theme of 'The Enabling Power of Science' a panel of global thought-leaders declared renewed intent to fight poverty and promote just, equitable and inclusive social development based on the restoration, protection and sustainable use of natural resources and ecosystems.
In keeping with its mission to advance scientific progress and innovation, the world's largest general scientific organization -- the American Association for the Advancement of Science -- today announced plans for two new peer-reviewed journals, Science Robotics and Science Immunology.
Related Science Reading:
The Science Book: Everything You Need to Know About the World and How It Works
by National Geographic (Author), Marshall Brain (Foreword)
The Science Book: Everything You Need to Know About the World and How It Works encapsulates centuries of scientific thought in one volume. Natural phenomena, revolutionary inventions, scientific facts, and the most up-to-date questions are all explained in detailed text that is complemented by visually arresting graphics.
Six major sections ranging from the universe and the planet Earth to biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics are further broken down into subsections that encompass everything from microscopic life to nuclear power.
The Science Book... View Details
Science (LEGO Nonfiction): A LEGO Adventure in the Real World
by Penelope Arlon (Author)
Did you know that the blue whale could blow up 1,250 balloons in a single breath? Or that the Earth's core is as hot as the surface of the sun?
Including information about almost every scientific topic in the universe, readers will find out everything they ever wanted to know about fascinating animals, electricity, energy, weather, our galaxy, technology of tomorrow, and so much more. They'll even meet real-life scientists and read all about their exciting work. Complete with hundreds of stunning photographs, fun facts, mini comics, and building ideas, LEGO Science is the... View Details
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
by Rachel Ignotofsky (Author)
It’s a scientific fact: Women rock!
A charmingly illustrated and educational book, New York Times best seller Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from the ancient to the modern world. Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. The trailblazing women profiled include well-known... View Details
Everything You Need to Ace Science in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide (Big Fat Notebooks)
by Workman Publishing (Author), Editors of Brain Quest (Draft Writer)
It’s the revolutionary science study guide just for middle school students from the brains behind Brain Quest.
Everything You Need to Ace Science . . . takes readers from scientific investigation and the engineering design process to the Periodic Table; forces and motion; forms of energy; outer space and the solar system; to earth sciences, biology, body systems, ecology, and more.
The BIG FAT NOTEBOOK™ series is built on a simple and irresistible conceit—borrowing the notes from the smartest kid in class. There are five books in all, and... View Details
Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy
by Robert M. Hazen (Author), James Trefil (Author)
Knowledge of the basic ideas and principles of science is fundamental to cultural literacy. But most books on science are often too obscure or too specialized to do the general reader much good.
Science Matters is a rare exception-a science book for the general reader that is informative enough to be a popular textbook for introductory courses in high school and college, and yet well-written enough to appeal to general readers uncomfortable with scientific jargon and complicated mathematics. And now, revised and expanded for the first time in nearly two decades, it is... View Details
Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning
by Peter C. Brown (Author), Henry L. Roediger III (Author), Mark A. McDaniel (Author)
To most of us, learning something "the hard way" implies wasted time and effort. Good teaching, we believe, should be creatively tailored to the different learning styles of students and should use strategies that make learning easier. Make It Stick turns fashionable ideas like these on their head. Drawing on recent discoveries in cognitive psychology and other disciplines, the authors offer concrete techniques for becoming more productive learners.
Memory plays a central role in our ability to carry out complex cognitive tasks, such as applying knowledge to problems never... View Details
The Science of Interstellar
by Kip Thorne (Author), Christopher Nolan (Foreword)
A journey through the otherworldly science behind Christopher Nolan’s award-winning film, Interstellar, from executive producer and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Kip Thorne.
Interstellar, from acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan, takes us on a fantastic voyage far beyond our solar system. Yet in The Science of Interstellar, Kip Thorne, the Nobel prize-winning physicist who assisted Nolan on the scientific aspects of Interstellar, shows us that the movie’s jaw-dropping events and stunning, never-before-attempted visuals are... View Details
Cracking the AP Environmental Science Exam, 2018 Edition: Proven Techniques to Help You Score a 5 (College Test Preparation)
by Princeton Review (Author)
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO HELP SCORE A PERFECT 5. Equip yourself to ace the AP Environmental Science Exam with this comprehensive study guide—including thorough content reviews, targeted strategies for every question type, access to our AP Connect portal online, and 2 full-length practice tests with complete answer explanations.
Written by the experts at The Princeton Review, Cracking the AP Environmental Science Exam arms you to take on the test and achieve your highest possible score.
Techniques That Actually Work.
• Tried-and-true... View Details
Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help YouFind - and Keep - Love
by Amir Levine (Author), Rachel Heller (Author)
"A groundbreaking book that redefines what it means to be in a relationship."
--John Gray, PhD., bestselling author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
We already rely on science to tell us what to eat, when to exercise, and how long to sleep. Why not use science to help us improve our relationships? In this revolutionary book, psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel Heller scientifically explain why why some people seem to navigate relationships effortlessly, while others struggle.
Discover how an understanding of adult... View Details
Barron's AP Environmental Science, 7th Edition: with Bonus Online Tests
by Gary S. Thorpe M.S. (Author)
Learning—and remembering—everything you need to know about the AP Environmental Science test can seem overwhelming. With help from this updated test preparation manual, however, test-takers will learn all they need to succeed on this test, including:Two full-length practice exams with all questions answered and explainedA detailed review of all test topics, including updates based on recent developments and changes in environmental laws, case studies that reflect topical environmental events, and practice questions and answers for each content areaAn overview of the format of the exam... View Details