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In Deep Water: Will Essential Ocean Currents Be Altered by Climate Change? [Slide Show]

Scientists are struggling to get a grasp on the huge volumes of water flowing through the world's oceans

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FUTURE WORK IN WEDDELL SEA

In January Østerhus will head to Antarctica on board a British Antarctic Survey vessel to retrieve monitoring equipment from the coldest deep-ocean water in the world, the Weddell Sea. The picture shows University of Bergen researchers Ilker Fer and Helge Bryhni on board the RSS Ernest Shackleton last February , readying the monitors for deployment.....[ More ]

DEEP WATER AT EARTH'S POLES

A thorough understanding of the Atlantic's currents requires studying how deep water is formed at both poles, and how that influences circulation in the mid-latitudes. Østerhus is head of an International Polar Year project called Bipolar Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation that is focused on deep-water circulation in Arctic and Antarctic waters.....[ More ]

WEATHER STATION MIKE

The bane of every oceanographer's existence is access to long-term data, due to the challenges and expense of setting up sturdy monitoring stations in vast seas. Østerhus and his colleagues have had the advantage of long-term oceanographic and meteorological records collected from Ocean Weather Station M (Mike), the "Polarfront," anchored in the Norwegian Sea since 1948 [ left ].....[ More ]

MODELING SVERDRUPS

Østerhus and his colleagues have been studying deep-ocean flows over a little hump of ocean bottom that runs between Greenland, Iceland and Scotland, where water from the Norwegian, Iceland and Greenland seas races south into the North Atlantic.....[ More ]

NORWEGIAN SEA OCEANOGRAPHY PIONEERS

The waters that flow into the North Atlantic from the Norwegian Sea and its neighbors make significant contributions to the lower southbound limb of the AMOC. Fridtjof Nansen [ right ] and Bjørn Helland-Hansen pioneered the study of physical oceanography in the Norwegian Sea, with their report, " The Norwegian Sea: Its Physical Oceanography Based Upon the Norwegian Researches 1900-1904 ." The maps they made of temperatures, salinity and circulation are important foundations for current research, says Svein Østerhus, an oceanographer the University of Bergen's Geophysical Institute and at the Bjerknes Center for Climate Research in Norway....[ More ]

ATLANTIC MERIDIONAL OVERTURNING CIRCULATION

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (scientists prefer this term over "thermohaline circulation") is a key mechanism in helping redistribute heat absorbed by the oceans at the equator and transferring it to polar regions, thereby making northern Europe more habitable.....[ More ]

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