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The Polar Oceans and Climate Change

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers the climate changes that have taken place - and are expected - for the polar oceans. It focuses on climate as it relates to the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean. The chapter overviews the climate changes now taking place, as well as those modelled for the future, which affect the conditions for existence and for operations in the polar oceans and along their coasts. The Polar Regions have been relatively little studied until recently, due to difficult accessibility and lack of local transport. There are few dense observation networks on land in the Arctic, none in the Antarctic, and none in the Arctic Ocean or the Southern Ocean. The chapter discusses the climate changes observed for the waters around the Antarctic continent is a simpler task than for the Arctic Ocean, even though the area of freezing conditions and cold waters is much larger.

Keywords:Antarctic Ocean; Arctic Ocean; climate change; polar oceans; Southern Ocean



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