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Summertime increases in upper-ocean stratification and mixed-layer depth

Jean-Baptiste Sallée, Violaine Pellichero, Camille Akhoudas, Etienne Pauthenet, Lucie Vignes, Sunke Schmidtko, Alberto Naveira Garabato, Peter Sutherland & Mikael Kuusela

In a paper published in Nature recently, the authors collected a maximum number of ocean observations made from ships, floats, and marine mammal to show that the ocean is changing drastically, faster than previously estimated.

Jean-Baptiste Sallée, main author gives us details :

In current climate change, we expect that the upper ocean surface ocean decouples from the deep-seas, making it harder for the ocean to play its role of climate regulator. It was shown previously, incl. in this nice paper by Li et al.

In our study, we go further by going back from every single of the >3M individual observations of the ocean since 1970 to focus specifically on the dividing layer between surface and deep ocean. Summer ocean conditions are actually changing 6 times faster than previously thought!

In addition, we demonstrate that, counterintuitively, the worldwide increase in stabilization of the ocean comes with a thickening surface layer due to intensifying winds; changing marine diversity habitat; and the volume of water in close contact with the atmosphere

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