Stephen R. Rintoul

Stephen R. Rintoul
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation | CSIRO · Division of Marine and Atmospheric Research

PhD

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225
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Publications

Publications (225)
Article
Meanders formed where the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) interacts with topography have been identified as dynamical hot-spots, characterised by enhanced eddy energy, momentum transfer, and cross-front exchange. However, few studies have used observations to diagnose the dynamics of ACC standing meanders. We use a synoptic hydrographic survey...
Article
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We provide a detailed description of the spatial distribution, seasonality and transformation of the main water masses within MacKenzie Polynya (MP) in Prydz Bay, East Antarctica, using data from instrumented southern elephant seals. Dense Shelf Water (DSW) formation in MP shows large spatial variability that is related to the (i) local bathymetry,...
Article
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Changes in properties and quantity of Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) have major implications for the climate system, through sequestration of heat and carbon into, and ventilation of, the abyssal ocean. Yet, it remains one of the most difficult water masses to observe. An array of 12 Deep Argo floats, capable of profiling from the surface to the sea...
Article
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Marine animals equipped with biological and physical electronic sensors have produced long-term data streams on key marine environmental variables, hydrography, animal behavior and ecology. These data are an essential component of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). The Animal Borne Ocean Sensors (AniBOS) network aims to coordinate the long-t...
Article
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Plain Language Summary Antarctic ice shelf melt is accelerating and is linked to the inflow of warm ocean waters that melt ice shelves from below. Multiple processes regulate the amount of warm water that reaches the Antarctic ice shelves, and the relative importance of these processes in different regions is not well known. Here, we conduct a virt...
Article
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The Antarctic subpolar Southern Ocean (sSO) has fundamental climate importance. Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) originates in the sSO and supplies the lower limb of the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC), occupying 36% of ocean volume. Climate models struggle to represent continental shelf processes that form AABW. We explore sources of persist...
Preprint
The Antarctic subpolar Southern Ocean (sSO) has fundamental climate importance. Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) originates in the sSO and supplies the lower limb of the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC), occupying 36% of ocean volume. Climate models struggle to represent continental shelf processes that form AABW. We explore sources of persist...
Article
Full-text available
Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) production supplies the deep limb of the global overturning circulation and ventilates the deep ocean. While the Weddell and Ross Seas are recognised as key sites for AABW production, additional sources have been discovered in coastal polynya regions around East Antarctica, most recently at Vincennes Bay. Vincennes Bay...
Article
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There are two varieties of Antarctic Bottom Water present in the Australian Antarctic Basin (AAB): locally produced Adélie Land Bottom Water (ALBW) and distantly produced Ross Sea Bottom Water (RSBW). Between 2014 and 2018, RSBW has rebounded from a multidecade freshening trend. The return of the salty RSBW to the AAB is revealed by six Deep Argo f...
Article
Full-text available
Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) supplies the lower limb of the global overturning circulation, ventilates the abyssal ocean and sequesters heat and carbon on multidecadal to millennial timescales. AABW originates on the Antarctic continental shelf, where strong winter cooling and brine released during sea ice formation produce Dense Shelf Water, whic...
Article
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We quantify the transport of inorganic carbon from the continental shelf to the deep ocean in Dense Shelf Water (DSW) from the Mertz and Ninnis Polynyas along the Adélie Land coast in East Antarctica. For this purpose, observations of total dissolved inorganic carbon (TCO2) from two summer hydrographic surveys in 2015 and 2017 were paired with DSW...
Article
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Ocean heat storage due to local addition of heat (“added”) and due to changes in heat transport (“redistributed”) were quantified in ocean-only 2xCO2 simulations. While added heat storage dominates globally, redistribution makes important regional contributions, especially in the tropics. Heat redistribution is dominated by circulation changes, sum...
Article
Full-text available
Antarctic continental shelf waters are poorly sampled, particularly beneath sea ice during winter. Profiling floats could help fill this gap, but floats are unable to surface to obtain a satellite position when ice is present. We deployed Argo profiling floats in a coastal polynya with a novel mission to rest on the sea floor between profiles. “Par...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ocean heat storage due to local addition of heat ("added") and due to changes in heat transport ("redistributed") were quantified in ocean-only 2xCO2 simulations. While added heat storage dominates globally, redistribution makes important regional contributions, especially in the tropics. Heat redistribution is dominated by circulation changes, sum...
Article
Full-text available
Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) supplies the lower limb of the global overturning circulation and ventilates the abyssal ocean. In recent decades, AABW has warmed, freshened and reduced in volume. Ross Sea Bottom Water (RSBW), the second largest source of AABW, has experienced the largest freshening. Here we use 23 years of summer measurements to doc...
Article
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Ocean thermal expansion is a large contributor to observed sea-level rise which is expected to continue into the future. However, large uncertainties exist in sea-level projections among climate models, partially due to inter-model differences in ocean heat uptake and redistribution of buoyancy. Here, the mechanisms of vertical ocean heat and salt...
Article
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Humpback whale populations migrate extensively between winter breeding grounds and summer feeding grounds, however known links to remote Antarctic feeding grounds remain limited in many cases. New satellite tracks detail humpback whale migration pathways from Western Australia into the Southern Ocean. These highlight a focal feeding area during aus...
Article
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The view from the south is, more than ever, dominated by ominous signs of change. Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are intrinsic to the Earth system, and their evolution is intertwined with and influences the course of the Anthropocene. In turn, changes in the Antarctic affect and presage humanity's future. Growing understanding is countering popu...
Article
Full-text available
The view from the south is, more than ever, dominated by ominous signs of change. Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are intrinsic to the Earth system, and their evolution is intertwined with and influences the course of the Anthropocene. In turn, changes in the Antarctic affect and presage humanity's future. Growing understanding is countering popu...
Article
Full-text available
Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) transport across the Antarctic continental slope regulates the delivery of heat to the shelf and its availability to melt floating ice shelves. The cross‐slope density field, calculated from profiles collected by conductivity‐temperature‐depth‐tagged marine mammals on the East Antarctic slope (0–160°E, above 1,000‐ to 3...
Conference Paper
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http://heardisland.antarctica.gov.au/research/kerguelen-plateau-symposium/the-kerguelen-plateau-marine-ecosystems-and-fisheries
Article
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Warm Modified Circumpolar Deep Water (MCDW) from the Southern Ocean drives rapid basal melt of the Totten Ice Shelf on the Sabrina Coast (East Antarctica), affecting the mass balance of the grounded Totten Glacier. Recent observations show that MCDW intrudes onto the continental shelf through a depression at the shelf break. Here we investigate suc...
Article
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In the Southern Ocean, polynyas exhibit enhanced rates of primary productivity and represent large seasonal sinks for atmospheric CO2. Three contrasting east Antarctic polynyas were visited in late December-early January 2017: the Dalton, Mertz and Ninnis polynyas. In the Mertz and Ninnis polynyas, phytoplankton biomass (average of 322 and 354 mg C...
Article
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Plain Language Summary Oceans soak up over 90% of the energy from global warming and regulate the Earth's climate. Along the ocean floor, more than 630 hydrothermal vents are spewing superhot plumes of water out of cracks in the Earth's crust. At the same time, the ocean floor is being gently warmed by magma under the Earth's crust, known as geothe...
Article
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On page 234 of this Perspective, '50% decrease' has been corrected online to '50% increase' in the sentence "The pH of surface waters south of 60° S decreased by 0.2 between 2017 and 2070, equivalent to a 50% increase in the concentration of hydrogen ions since the pre-industrial period1."
Article
Adélie Land Bottom Water (ALBW), a variety of Antarctic Bottom Water formed off the Adélie Land coast of East Antarctica, ventilates the abyssal layers of the Australian sector of the Southern Ocean as well as the eastern Indian and Pacific Oceans. We present the first dissolved neodymium (Nd) isotope and concentration measurements for ALBW. The su...
Article
Oceanographic observations from ships, floats and remote sensing are used to describe the ocean circulation and frontal structure from the southern Kerguelen Plateau to the Antarctic margin. The flow of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) is largely zonal upstream of the Kerguelen Plateau. The southern branch of the Polar Front and the northern...
Article
The circulation of the Southern Ocean connects ocean basins, links the deep and shallow layers of the ocean, and has a strong influence on global ocean circulation, climate, biogeochemical cycles and the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Processes that act on local and regional scales, which are often mediated by the interaction of the flow with topography, are...
Article
We present two narratives on the future of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, from the perspective of an observer looking back from 2070. In the first scenario, greenhouse gas emissions remained unchecked, the climate continued to warm, and the policy response was ineffective; this had large ramifications in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, with...
Article
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The GEOTRACES Intermediate Data Product 2017 (IDP2017) is the second publicly available data product of the international GEOTRACES programme, and contains data measured and quality controlled before the end of 2016. The IDP2017 includes data from the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, Southern and Indian oceans, with about twice the data volume of the pre...
Article
The GEOTRACES Intermediate Data Product 2017 (IDP2017) is the second publicly available data product of the international GEOTRACES programme, and contains data measured and quality controlled before the end of 2016. The IDP2017 includes data from the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, Southern and Indian oceans, with about twice the data volume of the pre...
Article
Full-text available
Strong heat loss and brine release during sea ice formation in coastal polynyas act to cool and salinify waters on the Antarctic continental shelf. Polynya activity thus both limits the ocean heat flux to the Antarctic Ice Sheet and promotes formation of Dense Shelf Water (DSW), the precursor to Antarctic Bottom Water. However, despite the presence...
Article
Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) supplies the deep limb of the global overturning circulation and ventilates the abyssal ocean. AABW has warmed, freshened, and contracted in recent decades, but the causes remain poorly understood. We use unique multi-year observations from the continental shelf and deep ocean near the Mertz Polynya to examine the sens...
Article
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The subduction and export of Subantarctic Mode Water (SAMW) supplies the upper limb of the overturning circulation and makes an important contribution to global heat, freshwater, carbon and nutrient budgets1–5. Upper ocean heat content has increased since 2006, helping to explain the so-called global warming hiatus between 1998 and 2014, with much...
Article
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The Southern Ocean has taken up more than 40% of the total anthropogenic carbon (Cant) stored in the oceans since the preindustrial era, mainly in subantarctic mode and intermediate waters (SAMW-AAIW). However, the physical mechanisms responsible for the transfer of Cant into the ocean interior remain poorly understood. Here, we use high resolution...
Article
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Biogeochemical change in the water masses of the Southern Ocean, south of Tasmania, was assessed for the 16-year period between 1995 and 2011 using data from four summer repeats of the WOCE–JGOFS–CLIVAR–GO-SHIP (Key et al., 2015; Olsen et al., 2016) SR03 hydrographic section (at ∼ 140° E). Changes in temperature, salinity, oxygen, and nutrients wer...
Article
Ice shelf basal melt is the dominant contribution to mass loss from Antarctic ice shelves. However, the sensitivity of basal melt to changes in icescape (grounded icebergs, ice shelves and sea ice) and related ocean circulation is poorly understood. Here, we simulate the impact of the major 2010 calving event of the Mertz Glacier Tongue (MGT), East...
Article
Oceanic changes before and after the relocation of iceberg B9B and calving of the Mertz Glacier Tongue (MGT) in February 2010 are examined on the continental shelf off the Adélie Land/George V Land coast, East Antarctica. Summer hydrographic observations, including stable oxygen isotope ratio (δ¹⁸O), in 2001/2008 and 2011/2015 and results of a nume...
Article
Warm waters flood the continental shelf of the Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas in West Antarctica, driving rapid basal melt of ice shelves. In contrast, waters on the continental shelf in East Antarctica are cooler and ice shelves experience relatively low rates of basal melt. An exception is provided by the Totten and Moscow University ice shelve...
Article
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Mass loss from the West Antarctic ice shelves and glaciers has been linked to basal melt by ocean heat flux. The Totten Ice Shelf in East Antarctica, which buttresses a marine-based ice sheet with a volume equivalent to at least 3.5 m of global sea-level rise, also experiences rapid basal melt, but the role of ocean forcing was not known because of...
Article
Full-text available
Assessments of the Antarctic contribution to future sea level rise have generally focused on ice loss in West Antarctica. This focus was motivated by glaciological and oceanographic observations that showed ocean warming was driving loss of ice mass from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Paleoclimate studies confirmed that ice discharge from Wes...
Article
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The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. The ARC project addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international co-operation. Technological requirements in...
Article
The Antarctic Slope Current (ASC), defined here as the region of westward flow along the continental slope off Antarctica, forms the southern limb of the subpolar gyres. It regulates the exchange of water across the shelf break and provides a path for interbasin westward transport. Despite its significance, the ASC remains largely unobserved around...
Article
Circulation on the Antarctic continental shelf influences cross-shelf exchange, Antarctic Bottom Water formation, and ocean heat flux to floating ice shelves. The physical processes driving the shelf circulation and its seasonal and interannual variability remain poorly understood. We use a unique time series of repeat hydrographic observations fro...
Chapter
For the 32-year period from 1979 to 2010, trends of surface and subsurface temperature and meridional motion of the current system in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) region are studied with in situ observations and an eddy-resolving general circulation model. The observed and simulated surface temperature shows a similar pattern between the...
Article
Full-text available
The dramatic calving of the Mertz Glacier Tongue in 2010, triggered by the impact of iceberg B09B, reshaped the oceanographic regime across the Mertz Polynya and Commonwealth Bay, regions where high salinity shelf water (HSSW) is formed, the precursor to Antarctic bottom water (AABW). Here we compare post-calving observations with high-resolution o...
Article
For the 32-year period from 1979 to 2010, trends of surface and subsurface temperature and meridional motion of the current system in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) region are studied with in situ observations and an eddy-resolving general circulation model. The observed and simulated surface temperature shows a similar pattern between the...
Article
Full-text available
The GEOTRACES Intermediate Data Product 2014 (IDP2014) is the first publicly available data product of the international GEOTRACES programme, and contains data measured and quality controlled before the end of 2013. It consists of two parts: (1) a compilation of digital data for more than 200 trace elements and isotopes (TEIs) as well as classical...
Article
Antarctic ice sheet mass loss has been linked to an increase in oceanic heat supply, which enhances basal melt and thinning of ice shelves. Here, we detail the interaction of modified Circumpolar Deep Water (mCDW) with the Amery Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf in East Antarctica, and provide the first estimates of basal melting due to mCDW. We use...
Article
Full-text available
We present a unique array of velocity profiles from EM-APEX profiling floats in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current north of Kerguelen. We use these profiles to examine the nature of Ekman spirals, formed by the action of the wind on the ocean’s surface, in light of Ekman’s classical linear theory and more recent enhancements. Vertical decay scales o...
Article
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The Southern Hemisphere westerly winds have intensified in recent decades associated with a positive trend in the southern annular mode (SAM). However, the response of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) transport and eddy field to wind forcing remains a topic of debate. This study uses global eddy-permitting ocean circulation models driven wit...