updated - October 16, 2021 Saturday EDT
Scientists believe climatic change is the reason deep sea salt ocean water is no longer present under Antarctica, and why freshwater now exists.
According to Live Science, the waves are known as Antarctic Bottom Water and deliver oxygen, carbon, and nutrients to the ocean's depths Live Science reported Monday.
The waves have however been vanishing according to past studies, puzzling researchers to wonder if the decrease involves a bigger problem associated with global warming or if it's a normalcy Live Science reported.
"Deep ocean waters only mix directly to the surface in a few small regions of the global ocean, so this has effectively shut one of the main conduits for deep ocean heat to escape," Casimir de Lavergne, an oceanographer at Montreal's McGill University told Live Science.
"What we suggest is, the change in salinity of the surface water makes them so light that even very strong cooling is not sufficient to make them dense enough to sink. Mixing them gets harder and harder," Lavergne told Live Science.
"If the warm waters aren't able to release their heat to the atmosphere, then the heat is waiting in the deep ocean instead. This could have slowed the rate of warming in the Southern Hemisphere," Lavergne told Live Science.
According to the study, published in the Nature Climate Change, the water did not seem to have as much salt since Antarctica's glaciers were dissolving, and rain and snow amounts were increasing over the last six decades Live Science reported.
"The waters exposed in the Weddell polynya became very cold, making them very dense, so that they sunk down to become Antarctic Bottom Water that spread throughout the global ocean. This source of dense water was equal to at least twice the flow of all the rivers of the world combined, but with the surface capped by freshwater, it has been cut off," Eric Galbraith, a scientist told Northern Voices Online.
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