For the first time, important ocean currents have been observed in the Southern Ocean with the help of robots and scientific sensors mounted on seals.
These streams control the amount of heat and carbon moving between the ocean and atmosphere - a process that has a major impact on global climate.
In two independent studies at Gothenburg University, researchers used advanced technologies to collect data about the waters surrounding the Antarctic sea ice.
Thanks to seals we can see the impact of ocean currents above below the ocean ice.
The currents are too small to appear in satellite and ship data found to interact with major storms in the Southern Ocean and physical processes occurring under the ocean's ice. .
'The first time we use the data collected by seals , we can see the impact of currents above the ocean ice. This really gives a valuable insight into what was previously completely unknown in the Southern Ocean, '' said Dr. Louise Biddle.
Research shows that the upper ocean currents have a significant influence on the ocean during the winter, which is thought to be relatively quiet.
The study revealed that as the storms subsided and the winds weakened, the recently discovered upper currents began to become much stronger. These streams accelerate the speed of ocean mixing and the transport of heat, carbon and nutrients throughout the Southern Ocean.
'These new ocean robots , called gliders , have been individually controlled by satellites for months that have allowed us to measure the ocean in unprecedented high resolution. The measurements revealed a strong physical link between the atmosphere and the ocean, ' said Professor Sebastiaan Swart.
'It's great that we can control these robots in the most remote places in the world - the waters around Antarctica - while still collecting new scientific data.'
In general, these studies provide fresh insights into small-scale ocean processes that affect global climate.
Professor Swart added: 'We really want to develop the potential of this research at Gothenburg University. This is really the leading guide in the world that we should take to collect a part of data in marine scientific research '.