About the project
Long term observations of the flow of dense waters from their area of formation to the abyss of the World Ocean, and the return flow of warm waters, are central to climate research. For the Weddell Sea, an important component of such a system entails monitoring the formation of High Salinity Shelf Water (HSSW) on the continental shelf north of Ronne Ice Front, the transformation to Ice Shelf Water (ISW) beneath the floating Filchner-Ronne ice shelf, and the flux of ISW overflowing the shelf break to the deep Weddell Sea. Equally important is the return flow of warm water toward the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf system.
We operate a number of monitoring stations in the southern Weddell Sea. The systems build upon techniques and methods developed over several decades and have a proven record of high data return. Here we present plans for extending, integrating and operating the existing long-term observatories to increase our knowledge of the natural variability of the ocean-ice shelf system, and to allow early identification of possible changes of regional or global importance.
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