International researchers announced that the Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) in the Weddell Sea, which contributes significantly to the heat and carbon storage of the oceans, is decreasing and warming.
Long-term changes in wind and sea are affecting bottom water production in the Weddell Sea, which is part of the Southern Ocean, according to research by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Noting that the world’s coldest and densest water body, AABW, is decreasing and warming, the researchers noted that the decrease observed in the bottom water may prevent the storage of heat and carbon in the atmosphere in the ocean.
Using ships and satellites to collect data, the experts measured the temperature and salinity of the Weddell Sea.
Emphasizing that the level of bottom waters has decreased by more than 20 percent in the last 30 years, the researchers noted that the remaining waters deeper than 2,000 meters warmed 4 times more than other oceans.
It was stated that the decrease in the waters was caused by the decrease in the formation of sea ice.
Change in deep waters took longer than thought
The lead author of the study, Physical Oceanographer Dr. Shenjie Zhou highlighted the vulnerability of the region, emphasizing the importance of the relationship between the atmosphere and sea ice.
Expressing that the decrease in deep waters can affect the ecosystem, researcher Dr. Alessandro Silvano, on the other hand, said that they used to think that the change in deep waters could take centuries, but in their observations they found that this could happen in a shorter time.
It is known that the Southern Ocean has stored 90 percent of human-induced global warming and one-third of excess carbon emissions since the Industrial Revolution.
Research. It was published in the journal “Nature Climate Change”.