Southern Ocean iron cycle provides climate insight

Understanding the Southern Ocean’s nutrient cycle could help experts made more accurate global climate predictions, according to new research.

Researchers analysed data taken from all previous studies of the Southern Ocean and satellite images of the area, to work out how much iron is supplied to the surface waters of the Southern Ocean.

A seasonal process called deep water mixing carries colder nutrient-rich water to the surface, stimulating phytoplankton growth and the aquatic food chain.

Oceanographer Alessandro Tagliabue said iron limits biological productivity and air to sea CO2 exchange in the region, meaning the Southern Ocean’s nutrient supply would be affected differently by changes to climate compared to other oceans.

Read more at University of Liverpool