Primeau Research Group
Dynamically and Observationally Constrained Estimates of Water-Mass Distributions and Ages in the Global Ocean
Abstract: Surface westerly winds in the Southern Hemisphere have intensified over the past few decades, primarily in response to the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole, and there is intense debate on the impact of this on the ocean's circulation and uptake and redistribution of atmospheric gases. We used measurements of chlorofluorocarbon-12 (CFC-12) made in the southern oceans in the early 1990s and mid- to late 2000s to examine changes in ocean ventilation.
The ocean is an essential and crucial element of the climate system in
terms of its role in heat transport and its importance as a reservoir of
heat and water. Particularly, the upper ocean, acting as a thermostat,
modulates the thermal and dynamical structures of the overlying
atmosphere, and hence plays a vital part in climate. Thus a precise
assessment of the upper-ocean heat content and its variations can
improve the climate predictions on a variety of time scales.