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Southern Ocean Region Panel (SORP)

AVdP SCAR 0176 low sun and mist webThe Southern Ocean Region Panel is organising a session at the 2022 Ocean Sciences Meeting on Southern Ocean freshening.  You are invited to share recent advances and discuss the bridging of gaps in knowledge, data coverage and modeling capabilities to better detect, attribute and predict SO freshening and consequences thereof.

The deadline for submitting abstracts is 29 September, 11:59pm EDT

Session HL16 - Sources and consequences of Southern Ocean freshening: Toward synthesising observations and modelling

Description: The Southern Ocean is consistently freshening, particularly in the upper layers and near the Antarctic coast. Freshening has been attributed to an increase in precipitation, basal melting of ice shelves and enhanced sea-ice melt and export. Freshening has also been observed in the abyssal Antarctic bottom water, formed close to the Antarctic coast and exported globally. The exact proportionality is highly uncertain, but all these processes contribute to formation of sea ice through strengthening surface stratification, changes in ocean circulation, and sea level rise. Implications for the oceanic heat content and the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet are likely but not yet well known. As the climate system continues to warm the relative magnitude of these processes and associated feedbacks may change leading to uncertain impacts on polar and global climate.

With this session we aim beyond sharing most recent research and plan for an engaged exchange among the scientific communities of ocean and cryosphere, modeling and observations, early career researchers and senior experts to examine the current state of knowledge on Southern Ocean freshening and discuss future research. We are particularly interested in work closing the gap between observations and modelling; this includes coordinated monitoring approaches and targeted joint model experiments. We specifically welcome ideas and proposals for highlighting the Southern Ocean in the just starting UN decade of ocean science.