The Southern Ocean plays a key role in slowing global warming.
Ocean over the past half a century, took over 90% of the effect of global warming, but the volume of cold bottom waters of the Antarctic, which compensated for this heat, decreased by 60% over the past 40 years, according to the Australian Scientific and industrial community of the British Commonwealth (CSIRO).
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced 2001-2011 "the warmest decade in history for all the continents of the world", experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) The U.S. noted that 2010 was a record year for rainfall on record since 1901. In general, experts say, in the late XX century, global climate change has accelerated.
"When we talk about global warming on the planet — in fact it still is that of heating of the ocean … the last 50 years it has absorbed 90% of the heat added, but it has gradually led to the depletion of buffer mechanisms which enable adaptation" — said the CSIRO Steve Rintoul (Steve Rintoul), whose words are reported.
He emphasized that the Southern Ocean plays a key role in slowing global warming, because accumulates more energy and carbon dioxide produced by man, than any other natural system.
According to experts, one of the mechanisms to compensate for warming — the circulation system of Antarctic bottom water (AR) — the coldest and dense water masses of the oceans. Their temperature is below zero, but because of the high salt content of ice formation occurs. AR responsible for the formation of currents and are believed to be behind the formation of sea ice in the Southern Ocean.
A study conducted in 2012 under the leadership of Rintoula showed that the volume of the coolest in the world, and dense water masses at the bottom part of the Southern Ocean was reduced to less than half compared to 1970.
As explained by the expert, the circulation of cold bottom water masses around Antarctica — an important part of the "engine" that runs the system of currents in the oceans, and these mechanisms directly affect the climate. However, some changes in the pattern of currents off the coast of Antarctica, have been observed in recent years, it can be associated with a decrease in the Antarctic cold bottom waters.
During the 25-day expedition in the beginning of this year, scientists found nine floats like Argo, which will be in the next five years, every 10 days to take readings of temperature and salinity, and data from this buoy systems fall to the scientists via satellite online.
Previously, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (USA) found that the thickness of the bottom water falls unevenly in the Atlantic and in the sector from 1880 to 2000, the super-cold water masses become thinner by 86 meters, in the Pacific and Indian — to 114, and 132 meters respectively.
Earlier, it was reported that the area of ice around Antarctica in the summer (in the southern hemisphere) the period exceeded the average long-term rates, it is due to a record high winds, which are "dispersed" the volume of ice shelves thin layer over a large area.