(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of scientists led by researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (USA) found that climate change accelerates ocean currents, which at the same time become narrower. This, in turn, can affect the global transport of nutrients as well as microorganisms.
The scientists used a global ocean model to understand what happens to currents as sea surface temperatures rise.
It turned out that with warming, the uppermost layers of the ocean layer become less dense, which increases the contrast in density between them and the layers of cold water below them.
This increase in layer stratification, in turn, confines near-surface ocean currents to a thinner layer and contributes to their acceleration. The model showed that this occurs in 77 percent of the world’s oceans.
As early as last year, Scripps Institution scientists noticed that the Antarctic Circumpolar Current was accelerating, in line with the current ocean model.
Surface warming and the resulting increase in density stratification in the upper ocean are persistent effects of greenhouse gases, according to the authors of the new study.
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