Global warming is affecting the Earth, we all know it. However, parts of the Southern Ocean looks like they have resisted the trends for 30 years. The Pacific sector, Indian, and Atlantic sectors didn’t warm up like the rest of Earth’s water. On the contrary, they’ve cooled down between 1982 and 2011, by about 0.1 °C (0.18 °F) per decade.
The cooling down of the Southern Ocean seemed mysterious at first
People who are against environmental protection, and needed to burn fossil fuel and deforest, followed their own cause: money and power. But the nature proved to be wiser. The waters of the Southern Ocean begun to warm too in 2015. Not only that, but they also let the scientists from ETH Zurich understand the cause of their resistance against climate change and ocean warming.
“The cooling of the Southern Ocean over three decades is really unusual, bearing in mind that otherwise all other parts of the planet, especially the land surface, have warmed up,” said lead researcher Nicolas Gruber.
The explanation of why the Southern Ocean has resisted to global warming for 30 years
At one end of the world, the glaciers of Antarctica thickened, while at the other end of it, they’ve shrunk. The winds’ strength pushed the sea ice offshore, deep into the waters of the Southern Ocean. There, global warming did the rest by melting the ice.
The water temperatures dropped in those areas due to ice melting. When the ice melts, it releases cool and freshwater into the ocean. But freshwater doesn’t find it easy to mingle with salty water, thus creating a water & oil effect. The fresh cooler water remained on the surface, while the warmer salty one stayed below. As it seems, that was just another side effect of the same insidious global warming, as the result of reckless human activity.