A new study reveals underwater mountains help in controlling the climate on Earth. The research found that large mountains in Drake Passage mixed the seawater flowing over it.
Until now there were very less information about how sea waters mix. The new finding will be crucial in creating future climate models.
The research was published in the Nature journal recently and in a press release from University of Exeter it is said, “Seawater mixes dramatically as it rushes over undersea mountains in Drake Passage, which is the channel between the southern tip of South America and the Antarctic continent.”
It is further revealed that the mixing of sea waters plays important role in the regulation of climate of the planet and its ocean currents.
With the churning of water in the ocean the carbon dioxide is distributed throughout the sea and this as a result determines how much carbon dioxide will be taken up by the sea.
The press statement added, “Over several hundred years this process will remove much of the carbon dioxide that we release into the atmosphere, storing it in the deep ocean… This mixing also affects climate patterns, with an increase in the rate of deep sea mixing allowing “the ocean to transfer more heat towards the poles.”
The researchers released small quantities of an inert chemical tracer into the sea to study the effect and tracked it for several years in the wild waters. The team watched it traveling through the Drake Passage and calculated the rate at which the water was mixed.
The study was conducted by University of East Anglia, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, University of Southampton, Scottish Association for Marine Science, British Antarctic Survey and also by the University of Exeter.