TNPSC Thervupettagam

Deep ocean currents in Antarctica

June 3 , 2023 386 days 398 0
  • Antarctica drives a global network of ocean currents called the “overturning circulation” that redistributes heat, carbon and nutrients around the globe.
  • The overturning is crucial to keeping the earth’s climate stable.
  • It’s also the main way oxygen reaches the deep ocean.
  • Recent measurements show the overturning circulation has slowed by almost a third (30%) and deep ocean oxygen levels are declining.
  • This is happening even earlier than climate models predicted.
  • As the flow of bottom water slows, the supply of oxygen to the deep ocean declines.
  • The shrinking oxygen-rich bottom water layer is then replaced by warmer waters that are lower in oxygen, further reducing oxygen levels.
  • Ocean animals, large and small, respond to even small changes in oxygen.
  • Deep-ocean animals are adapted to low oxygen conditions but still have to breathe.
  • Losses of oxygen may cause them to seek refuge in other regions or adapt their behaviour.

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