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Salty oceans provide early warning for climate change

move from the South Atlantic to the North Atlantic). Instead the scientists think that energy is transferred through the ocean along a deep pressure wave. The surge of salt generates a pressure gradient in the ocean that sends energy to the north without water actually being transported, explains Zahn.

Regardless of whether ocean circulation speeds up or slows down it causes significant climate change, altering the hydrological cycle and affecting atmospheric circulation patterns too.

Currently there is no large-scale salt monitoring system in place in the southern hemisphere oceans. Zahn thinks that regular measurements taken in the waters around South Africa and New Zealand could be useful. It could act as an early warning system for climate changes 10-20 years down the road, he says.


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Contact: Rainer Zahn
rainer.zahn@uab.cat
34-093-581-3324
European Science Foundation
8-Jun-2007


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