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Southern Ocean's Role in Climate Regulation, Ocean Health Goal of $21 Million Federal Grant
11th September, 2014
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The Southern Ocean that encircles Antarctica lends a considerable hand in keeping Earth's temperature hospitable by soaking up half of the human-made carbon in the atmosphere and a majority of the planet's excess heat. Yet, the inner workings — and global importance — of this ocean that accounts for 30 percent of the world's ocean area remains relatively unknown to scientists, as observations remain hindered by dangerous seas.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego is one of 10 partner institutions led by Princeton University who seek to make the Southern Ocean better known scientifically and publicly through a $21 million program. The endeavor will create a biogeochemical and physical portrait of the ocean using hundreds of robotic floats deployed around Antarctica and an expanded computational capacity. The Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling program, or SOCCOM, is a six-year initiative funded by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Polar Programs, with additional support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA.

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