Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Climate science

Southern Ocean freshened by sea ice

The Southern Ocean has become less salty during the past few decades. An analysis of sea-ice transport in the ocean suggests that this phenomenon can be explained by coupled changes in sea-ice drift and thickness. See Letter p.89

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Sea ice in the Southern Ocean.


  1. See all news & views


  1. Frölicher, T. L. et al. J. Clim. 28, 862–886 (2015).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Wong, A. P. S., Bindoff, N. L. & Church, J. A. Nature 400, 440–443 (1999).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Böning, C. W., Dispert, A., Visbeck, M., Rintoul, S. R. & Schwarzkopf, F. U. Nature Geosci. 1, 864–869 (2008).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  4. Jacobs, S. S. & Giulivi, C. F. J. Clim. 23, 4508–4524 (2010).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Purkey, S. G. & Johnson, G. C. J. Clim. 26, 6105–6122 (2013).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  6. de Lavergne, C., Palter, J. B., Galbraith, E. D., Bernardello, R. & Marinov, I. Nature Clim. Change 4, 278–282 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Haumann, F. A., Gruber, N., Mu¨nnich, M., Frenger, I. & Kern, S. Nature 537, 89–92 (2016).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Helm, K. P., Bindoff, N. L. & Church, J. A. Geophys. Res. Lett. 37, L18701 (2010).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  9. Abernathey, R. P. et al. Nature Geosci. 9, 596–601 (2016).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Worby, A. P. et al. J. Geophys. Res. 113, C05S92 (2008).

    Google Scholar 

  11. Kurtz, N. T. & Markus, T. J. Geophys. Res. 117, C08025 (2012).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  12. Holland, P. R. & Kwok, R. Nature Geosci. 5, 872–875 (2012).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Parkinson, C. L. & Cavalieri, D. J. Cryosphere 6, 871–880 (2012).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  14. Hobbs, W. et al. Glob. Planet. Change 143, 228–250 (2016).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ted Maksym.

Related links

Related links

Related links in Nature Research

Earth science: Ocean circulation and rapid climate change

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Maksym, T. Southern Ocean freshened by sea ice. Nature 537, 40–41 (2016).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing