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Seals help show change in currents

AAP logoAAP 24/08/2016

Fresh water from melting Antarctic ice shelves is slowing the formation of deep ocean currents which regulate global temperatures, researchers have found with the help of tagged elephant seals.

Since 2011 the seals have gathered oceanographic data from areas that tend to be difficult to access in research ships and a team from Hobart's Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies has found an increase in waters that are less salty and dense due to run off from nearby ice shelves.

"If this production of Antarctic bottom water weakens, it leads to changes in global ocean circulation patterns that can lead to changes in the global climate," research leader Guy Williams said after his team's latest findings were published on Wednesday.

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