The role of the ocean in climate change

Ocean circulation and climate

Background

The ocean is one of the important drivers of global as well as regional climate change, on timescales ranging from months to millennia. Understanding the climate of the past and its changes or predicting the climate of the future requires a deep understanding of the physical, chemical and biological processes in the ocean. Changes in ocean currents, for example, can influence the occurrence of extreme natural events such as storms and heavy precipitation. On the other hand, anthropogenic climate warming caused by humans has a direct influence on sea levels and thus on coastal erosion. The absorption of carbon dioxide (CO2) through the ocean also causes ocean acidification. All of this stresses marine ecosystems such as tropical coral reefs.

Oceanographic climate research has made important progress in recent years. In particular, large-scale national and international projects have contributed to a better understanding of the role of the oceans in global climate processes.

The Ocean Circulation & Climate Strategy Group is a joint initiative of the German Climate Consortium and KDM. The group addresses research priorities to better understand the interaction of ocean circulation and climate change.

Surveying the Atlantic

New brochure

Climate and ocean circulation

More on the state of research

Gulf Stream circulation

Facts and backgrounds

Further information on climate and ocean circulation

Members

Prof. Dr Detlef Stammer

CEN | Centre for Earth System Research and Sustainability at the University of Hamburg

Prof. Dr Mojib Latif

GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

Prof. Dr Peter Brandt

GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

Prof. Dr Thomas Jung

Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven

Prof. Dr Torsten Kanzow

Alfred Wegener Institute | Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven

Prof. Dr Michael Schulz

MARUM Centre for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen

Prof. Dr Martin Visbeck

GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

Prof. Dr Jin-Song von Storch

Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg