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Antarctica and the Southern Ocean – their importance for climate change

The ocean regulates the global climate by absorbing heat and carbon from the atmosphere and storing them in the deep seas away from the atmosphere for centuries. Most of this process occurs in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica, thanks to its unique circulation system. As the Southern Ocean stores heat and carbon, its waters acidify and warm, which impacts ecosystems and destabilises the Antarctic ice sheet, threatening dangerous sea-level rise.

Rates and impacts of climate change therefore depend on processes taking place in the Southern Ocean. In this briefing, scientists presented and summarised the latest evidence on the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic ice sheet, as well as their importance for negotiations at COP26.


Speakers included:

Prof Mike Meredith, British Antarctic Survey

Dr Anna Hogg, University of Leeds

Dr Jessica O’Reilly, Indiana University, USA

Also took part in the Q&A:

Dr Jean-Baptiste Sallée, Sorbonne Université, France

Dr Andrew Meijers, British Antarctic Survey

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