The global ocean has become more layered and stable over the past few decades with global warming, which affects life in the ocean by reducing nutrients and oxygen.
Researchers from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and their collaborators from the U.S. found that the global ocean has become more layered and resistant to vertical mixing as warming from the surface creates increasing stratification.
The study was published in Nature Climate Change on Sept. 28.
Sea water generally forms layers with lighter water near the surface and denser water at greater depth, i.e. warmer fresher water atop colder water with more saline. This stable stratified configuration acts as a barrier to water mixing, influencing the efficiency of vertical exchanges of heat, carbon, oxygen and other constituents.
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