Eberhard Fahrbach from the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) begins with a presentation of the German research vessel Polarstern and explains its onboard instruments and laboratories. He comes then to speak about the principal differences between the Arctic and the Antarctic Ocean. He compares the currents of both oceans and explains the mechanisms behind them. A special focus is taken on the roles of the oceans as heat buffer in the global climate system and its role as storage for anthropogenic carbon. The process of sea ice formation is explained. Sea ice increases considerably the amount of reflected solar energy and plays therefore an important role in the global energy budget. The temporal evolution of the average monthly sea ice extent is compared between both Arctic Seas. The presenter finishes on vertical cross sections showing oceanic front lines generated by differences in temperature and salinity of the water.
Filed under Keywords:
Oceanography, currents, salinity, ice formation, arctic climatology