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Nature_and_Environment.7

Global Climate Change

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.536}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Tue, 07 Jan 2020 17:53:41 CST (45 lines)

Antarctic waters: Warmer with more acidity and less oxygen

The increased freshwater from melting Antarctic ice sheets plus
increased wind has reduced the amount of oxygen in the Southern Ocean
and made it more acidic and warmer, according to new research led by
University of Arizona geoscientists.

The discovery drove the research team to improve current climate
change computer models to better reflect the environmental changes
around Antarctica.

"It's the first time we've been able to reproduce the new changes in
the Southern Ocean with an Earth system model," said co-author Joellen
Russell, a professor of geosciences.

The research is the first to incorporate the Southern Ocean's
increased freshwater plus additional wind into a climate change model,
she said. The team used the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's ESM2M model.

"We underestimated how much influence that added freshwater and wind
would have. When we add these two components to the model, we can
directly and beautifully reproduce what has happened over the last 30
years," she said.

Now, models will be able to do a better job of predicting future
environmental changes in and around Antarctica, she said, adding that
the Southern Ocean takes up most of the heat produced by anthropogenic
global warming.

"One out of every eight carbon molecules that comes out of your
tailpipe goes into the Southern Ocean," Russell said. "Our model says
that in the future, we may not have as big of a carbon sink as we were
hoping."

The team's paper, "Importance of wind and meltwater for observed
chemical and physical changes in the Southern Ocean," is scheduled for
publication in Nature Geoscience on Jan. 6. A list of additional co-
authors and their affiliations is at the bottom of this release.

The team also used the improved model to forecast conditions in the
Southern Ocean. The forecast suggests that in the future, the Southern
Ocean may not take up as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as
previously predicted.
"https://phys.org/news/2020-01-antarctic-warmer-acidity-oxygen.html"

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