The ocean plays a vital role in Earth’s carbon cycle, acting as a vast sink that absorbs atmospheric carbon dioxide. Understanding how carbon moves from the ocean’s surface to its depths is crucial for modeling climate change. New research from Brown University, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the Marine Biological Laboratory sheds light on a previously overlooked mechanism: oceanic intrusions.

What are oceanic intrusions?

Oceanic intrusions are fascinating and complex phenomena that occur when water masses of different densities, temperatures, or salinities come into contact within the ocean.

These differences in water properties can be due to various environmental factors, such as solar heating, evaporation, or the influx of fresher water from rivers or melting ice. When these differing water masses meet, the denser water tends to slide under the lighter water, creating a layered effect in the ocean’s subsurface.

These intrusions are not trivial in scale; they often stretch horizontally across many kilometers. Imagine vast, underwater rivers weaving through the ocean, sometimes extending over tens or even hundreds of kilometers. Read the full story on

Source: Oceanic Intrusions Move Tiny Sea Life to the Deep Layers |