The Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) Weddell Sea and Dronning Maud Land (WS-DML) Regional Working Group is holding an online multidisciplinary workshop, "The Southern Ocean in the Weddell Sea and off Dronning Maud Land: unique oceanographic conditions shape circumpolar and global processes", from 20-23rd October 2020.
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 actual update of scientific findings, which underline the WS-DML as an important area for multi-disciplinary studies (30 registered oral presentations, 10 three-minute flash presentations (substitute for 'poster' session), and a discussion on initiating a WS-DML special issue. The SOOS community and also the individual researchers would benefit from an improved visibility of our results published in such a special volume.
- inform the SOOS WS-DML community about the progress of activities in the area of interest.
- present ideas, actions and products for the future including multi-national initiatives and ongoing and future national plans, including a discussion on the impact of COVID-19 on the coming field season, in a plenary session.
More information on the workshop and the Weddell Sea and Dronning Maud Land Regional Working Group can be found on the SOOS website.