The Antarctic Ocean is safe from global warming, researchers suggest. New research revealed that the ocean currents are responsible for cooling Antarctica while the rest of the planet is facing a massive climate change. The Antarctic Ocean is among the last places on Earth which have yet to be affected by man-driven activities which lead to global warming.
A team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Washington University has tried to come up with an answer as to why the waters around Antarctica stay cool while the rest of the oceans are warming up. The findings revealed that the Antarctic Ocean is safe from global warming because of its unique currents. They continuously pull centuries-old seawater up. This means that water which has not been polluted by fossils fuels is constantly being brought to the surface of the ocean.
Because the water derives from such great depths, it would take centuries before that water became affected by global warming. The Southern Ocean brings up water from as much as 2 miles deep, according to the study published in the Nature Geoscience journal.
However, other oceans also draw water up from hundreds of meters below, but the effect is not the same.
It was previously thought that the Antarctic Ocean wouldn’t heat up because the heat at the surface would mix downward. However, the recent study showed that heat is actually carried away northward along the surface. It’s the work of the gale-force westerly winds, which push the surface water north while drawing up water from the deep.
Scientists have used dyes in model simulations to provide evidence that seawater from the North Pole is the most affected by climate change. This while Antarctica has not been touched by man’s devastating force. Data from Argo observational floats has been used to trace the path of the heat.
The study is important because it can help better predict temperatures in the future, as researchers have now discovered why the poles are experiencing different levels of warming.
It also provides a new outlook on things, because scientists are now looking away from the idea that global warming, and towards the concept of regional patterns of warming.