The SOCCO research strategy focuses on the hypothesis that fine scale ocean dynamics are key to understanding the role of the Southern Ocean in global century-scale trends of atmospheric CO2 and regional climate change.
A South African commitment to having a much greater role in both regional and global science has been articulated by the Global Change Grand Challenge science plan prepared by the science community at the request of DST.
Check out publications from SOCCO.
Where is the Southern Ocean?The recent announcement from the National Geographic on the 8th June 2021 that the Southern Ocean will be recognised as the world’s fifth ocean, alongside the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic, has caused quite a stir amongst scientists who have specialised their research in this unique and mesmerising environment. The reason for this is that
Gearing up for novel turbulence observations in the SubAntarctic ZoneIn situ observations of open ocean (and in particular the Southern Ocean) turbulent mixing are sparse and remain one of the ‘holy grails’ of Oceanography. Ocean fronts and eddies are hotspots for raised turbulent mixing, however, it is extremely intermittent and thus difficult to observe. The passage of strong atmospheric storms are thought to further enhance
Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition: Leg 1A SOCCO led research team recently completed the first leg of a unique circumnavigation expedition around Antarctica, ACE (Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition). The team set sail from Cape Town on the 20th December 2016 before arriving in Hobart, Tasmania on the 19th January 2017. This expedition is unique because of the 22 research projects onboard, spanning
Full seasonal coverage in the South Atlantic ZoneThe Southern Ocean has a powerful influence on Earth’s climate, as it stores more anthropogenic CO2 and heat than any other latitude band on Earth. This massive body of water also plays a pivotal ecosystem role in regulating the supply of nutrients to lower latitudes which supports about 80% of ocean production. Its ability to
New Approaches for Air-Sea Fluxes in the Southern OceanBy Sarah Gille, Simon Josey, and Seb Swart: EOS article 13 May 2016 https://eos.org/meeting-reports/new-approaches-for-air-sea-fluxes-in-the-southern-ocean Air-sea exchanges in the Southern Ocean of momentum, heat, freshwater, carbon dioxide, and other gases are not well documented because fluxes are sparsely sampled (see Figure 1) and because high winds, high sea state, and lack of calibration for bulk formulas make
Robots helping tell the ocean story in South AfricaEddies — circular currents of water — move deep water nutrients to the surface, but their overall effect on the Southern Ocean and the earth’s changing climate is barely understood. The Southern Ocean also called the Antarctic Ocean or the Austral Ocean, has high species abundance and diversity, making common and highly specialised species thrive. Sailing the seas
CLIVAR Open Sci Conference: Call for abstractsAbstracts can be submitted via the Conference website (http://clivar.us4.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=e95bd74f92719b8560b3cbed6&id=11ca606090&e=3e8d045d68) until 15 March 2016. Abstracts must be submitted to one of the OSC sessions; for an overview, check the http://clivar.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=e95bd74f92719b8560b3cbed6&id=d2b1bf193e&e=3e8d045d68 programme and session descriptions. Selected contributions will be invited for oral presentation, all others as posters. Contributors may submit up to 3 abstracts. All abstracts must
Phyting Climate Change: The Green Gold of the Global OceansThe global oceans are estimated to contribute an impressive 50-85% of the oxygen (O2) present in the earth’s atmosphere. It is often assumed the Amazon and other reputable rainforests are responsible for atmospheric O2, however rainforests only cover 2% of the earth’s total surface area; the oceans cover a remarkable 71%. From the Blue Planet
Researchers plug carbon sink gapsWritten by Sarah Wild for Mail and Guardian 21 August 2015 The stormy waters south of the Cape suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and are key to understanding what will happen to our climate as the Earth heats up. The storms are part of the reason the Southern Ocean is one of the most
Carte Blanche Exposé on SOCCO Research & GlidersIn February 2015, Carte Blanche ran a full story on prime time TV covering SOCCO research objectives and how gliders are used in the Southern Ocean to make key observations that assist in answering SOCCOs research questions. Click on this link to see the whole story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phV5lKB7YNg
Why iron can’t solve the climate crisisA changing climate has brought the Southern Ocean into sharp focus, not only due to the physical changes we are observing in the ice levels and sea surface temperatures around Antarctica, and their effect on currents, but on the biology and life within the oceans. When sailing across the oceans, you notice their
Robot to test health of ocean ‘lungs’
A team of scientists and engineers from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) stand in a large patch of sunlighton the dock at the V&A marina, hurrying to affix an ocean robot to the side of a small vessel with a winch, hauling it from the dock so it hugs the side of the boat.
Ocean Gliders Battle Southern OceanTo Capture Seasonal Cycle
South Africa’s ocean gliders are already making unprecedented impact on the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observatory’s (SOCCO) research by providing extended time series of physical and biogeochemical observations…