Seamposium: The Oceans in a Changing Climate


  • Speaker: Dr. Stefan Rahmstorf. Postdam University, Germany





Esporles, September 26, 2022. On September 29 at 11:30 (GMT+2: Vigo, Barcelona, Paris) we will get back to the cycle of joint seminars with CEAB, ICM, ICMAN and IIM entitled "Seamposium: Dealing with new frontiers of marine research", this time jointly organized as IMEDEA New Frontiers webinar's series.


TITLE: The Oceans in a Changing Climate


SPEAKERDr. Stefan Rahmstorf. Postdam University, Germany


ABSTRACTThe Earth is undergoing a major rapid warming, unprecedented in its speed for millions of years. How is this affecting the physics of the oceans, and thereby us? The lecture will cover ocean warming and its consequences: 1) Arctic summer sea ice cover has shrunk by half in extent and also in thickness, so that only about a quarter of the ice mass that was normal until the 1970s is left now. 2) Thermal expansion and loss of land ice is causing global sea-level to rise, by around 20 cm thus far, and accelerating. The latest IPCC report concluded that 2 meters by the year 2100 cannot be ruled out. 3) Tropical cyclones draw their energy from the heat stored in the upper ocean and are consequently already getting more violent with global warming, and also extending their range to higher latitudes. 4) The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) has been weakening since the mid-twentieth Century and is now weaker than any time in the last 1,000 years. This is of great concern as it is already having an impact on European weather, and the AMOC has a tipping point where it will grind to a halt altogether.


BIOGRAPHY: Stefan Rahmstorf is a German oceanographer and climatologist. Since 2000, he has been a Professor of Physics of the Oceans at Potsdam University. He studied physical oceanography at Bangor University and received his PhD in oceanography from Victoria University of Wellington (1990). His work focuses on the role of ocean currents in climate change. He was one of the lead authors of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. Rahmstorf is a co-founder of the blog Real Climate, which has been described by Nature as one of the top-5 science blogs in 2006, and included among the 15 best environmental websites by Time in 2008. He is a frequent contributor of articles on climate and climate change/global warming in the popular press, some of which are internationally syndicated via Project Syndicate. He writes a regular column in the German environmental magazine Zeo2, and has published the children's science book Wolken, Wind und Wetter (Clouds, Wind, and Weather) on weather and climate. Rahmstorf has commented on climate change and climate policy on TV and radio. He was portrayed as one of the world's 10 leading climate scientists by the Financial Times in 2009. The University of Flensburg found that among all climate scientists from Germany, Rahmstorf published the largest number of studies which ranked amongst the most-cited in the scientific literature during the years 1994–2013. Rahmstorf was a member of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) from 2004 till 2013.