The Antarctic Circumpolar Current is speeding up. ACC circumnavigates our Earth. Scientists have been able to say this by looking at a long set of observational records.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchershave used satellite measurements of sea-surface height and data that have been captured and recorded by the global network of ocean floats. This global network is named Argo and it has been set up to detect trends in Southern Ocean upper layer velocity. This data has been unknow to scientists till now.
This team of scientists was funded by two organisations named the National Science Foundation and Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modelling. The research paper has been published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Because of climate change westerly winds have sped up. Though researchers found out that wind speedup does not affect wind current. But it energizes ocean eddies. Eddies are circular movements of water that runs in counter with main currents.
Jia-Rui Shi, a Ph.D. student at Scripps Oceanography, said that from their observations they find out ocean heat change is causing ocean current acceleration in recent decades. Jia-Rui Shi also added speeding up of ACC is also causing property exchange. This includes changes in heat or carbon in ocean basins. This gives opportunity to these properties to rise in the subsurface subtropical regions.
The ACC helps to divide cold water of Antarctica with warmer subtropical water of south. Southern Ocean consumes much of the that humas add to the climate. This is why scientists think it is important to know the dynamics of ACC as it can impact climate change.