Anna Olivé


Earth's climate is largely conditioned by the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), also known as the global conveyor belt. During the winter season at the high latitudes of the North Atlantic Ocean and around the Antarctic continent, the newly-formed waters sink and travel along the ocean before returning to their initial formation place. This circuit takes hundreds of years, and transfers the surface waters, which store large amounts of heat and carbon dioxide, towards the deep ocean, whilst the deep waters upwell, loaded with inorganic nutrients in order to maintain high rates of primary production. Furthermore, the return of Antarctic waters to the high latitudes is much complex going through a whole series of topographic and dynamical obstacles. Hence, the main research line tries to understand how and where this incorporation takes place, in one of the more remote and less studied regions of our planet, and determine the hydrography and fluxes of Antarctic waters towards the South Atlantic Ocean: the first and most challenging phase of the return branch of the AMOC.