The Southern Ocean: New insights into circulation, carbon and climate

Editors: Andrew J. Watson, John Marshall and Michael P. Meredith

The Southern Ocean fascinates us. It retains an aura of mystery from the time of the early European explorers, when to sail through the Straits of Magellan or around Cape Horn was to leave the known world behind. Then, as now, the waters of the Southern Ocean earned a reputation as the roughest and most challenging on the Earth, a test for the bravest of mariners. It is no longer a life-threatening adventure to set sail in the Southern Ocean, but to modern oceanographers, the region is still full of mystery and unanswered questions. It is central to the climate of the planet, but we still struggle to understand its dynamics. The papers in this issue of Philosophical Transactions A arose from a two-day meeting at the Royal Society’s Kavli Centre in July 2013. The meeting brought together researchers of the physical climate system with carbon cycle scientists, and the resulting papers cover aspects of many of the unresolved issues relating to the Southern Ocean.


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