A multidisciplinary workshop of the Weddell Sea - Dronning Maud Land (WS-DML) regional working group of the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) will be held in Delmenhorst, Germany on 28-30 April 2020. The workshop theme is "The Southern Ocean in the Weddell Sea and off Dronning Maud Land: unique oceanographic conditions shape circumpolar and global processes".
The Weddell Sea, including the ocean off Dronning Maud Land, is regionally representative for the high-latitude Southern Ocean due to its pronounced seasonality, circum-polar currents, deep-water formation and multi-year sea-ice cover. In addition, the Weddell Gyre connects water masses at the northern margin of the Southern Ocean (SO) in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) with those shaped by the large ice shelves and sea-ice formation in the southern Weddell Sea. This hydrodynamic regime affects a range of physical, geochemical and biological processes.
A smaller proportion of the western Weddell Sea is already experiencing climate-change and related consequences, including the acceleration of mass loss from ice shelves, enhanced ocean warming and freshening, rising air temperatures, and changes in wind patterns. In the eastern part, however, the environment is still relatively stable but it is predicted to experience significant warming, sea-ice melt and ice-shelf loss until the end of the century. The recent re-emergence of the Weddell Polynya in this region, for not entirely understood reasons and with potentially significant impact on regional water masses underscores the importance of observing and understanding this region.
The aims of the workshop are to:
- Provide an overview and update of scientific findings, which underline the WS-DML as an important area for multi-disciplinary and other studies (approx. 30 presentations and posters). It is also planned to publish a special volume on such results.
- Inform the SOOS WS-DML community about the progress of activities in the area of interest.
- Develop ideas, actions and products for the future including multi-national initiatives in short presentations and in a plenary discussion following our "additional plans and requirements" assembled during our kick-off workshop in Tromsø, in January 2019.
Experts are welcome to participate and contribute to the developments of this SOOS regional working group. There is limited funding to provide travel support for early-career researchers - applications must be made by 30 October 2019. Registration will open in November 2019.