"We're not going to understand the whole story about the formation of Antarctic bottom water
until we investigate that western rim," he told SCIENCE NEWS.
The factors contributing to the decrease of Antarctic bottom water
aren't yet known, but may include changes in wind patterns, sea ice formation, precipitation and the melting of glacial ice in Antarctica.
This mass of water is called Antarctic Bottom Water
, which is formed in a few distinct locations around Antarctica, where seawater is cooled by the overlying air and made saltier by ice formation (which leaves the salt behind in the unfrozen water).
The two deeper layers represent the lower and upper Antarctic Bottom Water
(Antarctic Bottom Water
is a cold, fresh water mass that originates near Antarctica and flows into the Brazil Basin from the south); the shallowest layer represents the upper ocean.
A new study published in Journal of Climate suggests that the volume of the coldest deep-ocean water, known as Antarctic bottom water
(ABW), has decreased rapidly in recent decades.