The deep ocean suffers from global warming


Much of the “excess heat” stored in the subtropical North Atlantic is in the deep ocean (below 700 meters), suggests new research published in the journal Nature Communications Earth and Environment.

The oceans absorbed about 90% of human-caused warming and, according to these results, in the subtropical North Atlantic (25°N), 62% of the warming from 1850 to 2018 remains in the deep ocean. The researchers, from the University of Exeter and the University of Brest, estimate that the deep ocean they will warm another 0.2°C over the next 50 years.

Warming oceans can have a variety of consequences, including sea level rise, changes in ecosystems, currents and chemistry, and deoxygenation.

The ocean absorbs excess heat

“As our planet warms, it is essential to understand how excess heat absorbed by the ocean is redistributed within the ocean from the surface to the bottom, and it is important to consider the depths of the ocean to assess the growth of the Earth’s “energy imbalance”he rocks. Marie-Joseph Messias, researcher at the University of Exeter.

“In addition to discovering that the deep ocean retains much of this excess heat, our research shows how ocean currents redistribute heat to different regions.”To add. “We found that this redistribution was a key driver of warming in the North Atlantic”.

connected oceans

The researchers studied the system of currents known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). This system works like a treadmill, carrying warm water from the northern tropics, where the cooler, denser water sinks into the deep ocean and slowly spreads south. The results highlight the importance of heat transfer by AMOC from one region to another.

The Messiah assures that the excess heat of the oceans of the southern hemisphere becomes important in the North Atlantic, which now accounts for about a quarter of excess heat. The study used temperature readings and chemical “tracers”, compounds whose composition can be used to discover past changes in the ocean.

unprecedented slowdown

A recent study in a journal from the same group warned that ‘Unprecedented amounts of heat’ are entering the Arctic Ocean through the Bering Strait, “especially during the summer months”, with the imbalance that this can introduce in key areas of the planet, and several studies indicate that North Atlantic circulation is experiencing an unprecedented slowdown.

“If we continue to induce global warming”finish this job “The Gulf Stream will continue to weaken by up to 34%-45% by 2100 according to the latest climate models” Yes “This could bring us dangerously close to a point of no return in which the flow becomes unstable”.

The consequences of this change can manifest themselves in multiple ways on both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe, this slowdown could increase the number of extreme events change the path of storms arriving from Atlantic waters and increase their intensity. According to some works, also heat waves will increase in summer and rainfall will decrease at this time of year.

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