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Ocean circulation explains why the Arctic affected by global warming more than the Antarctic
25th August, 2014
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Over recent decades, scientists have watched a climate conundrum develop at the opposite ends of Earth: The Arctic has warmed and steadily lost sea ice, whereas Antarctica has cooled in many places and may even be gaining sea ice. Now, MIT researchers have a better understanding of the elemental processes behind this asymmetric response of the polar regions to the effects of human-induced changes to the climate.

In a paper published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, John Marshall, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Oceanography at MIT, and his group investigated this phenomenon by considering ocean dynamics. The ocean, because of its ability to absorb and transport enormous amounts of heat, plays a critical role in climate change. The authors argue that ocean circulation can explain why the Arctic has warmed faster than the Antarctic.

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