Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Warming in Deep Southern Ocean Linked to Sea-Level Rise

Warming waters in the deepest parts of the ocean surrounding Antarctica have contributed to sea-level rise over the past two decades, scientists report today (Sept. 20). 

In an attempt to pinpoint all culprits for the rising oceans, scientists analzyed warming trends in the abyssal ocean — below about 3,300 feet (1,000 meters), said study team member and oceanographer Sarah Purkey of the University of Washington in Seattle.

The scientists found that the strongest deep warming occurred in the water around Antarctica, and the warming lessens as it spreads around the globe. The temperature increases are small — about 0.05 degrees Fahrenheit (0.03 degrees Celsius) per decade in the deep Southern Ocean, and less elsewhere. More >>>