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Glossary

The English version of our glossary is currently under construction and will be regularly updated.

dB

The decibel (dB) is the unit of measurement for loudness.

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Decomposers

Microorganisms that break down other lifeforms’ organic excretions and the organic substances left behind when they die, converting them into simple inorganic compounds.

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Deep water

Water masses at depths below ca. 1,000 m, which are formed by convection and overflow and spread from the convection areas to the interior ocean.

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Deformed ice

General term for compressed ice.

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When sheets of sea ice collide to form pack-ice hummocks, only one-tenth of the ice mass can be seen above the surface; the remaining nine-tenths are hidden underwater, often extending into the depths like a ship’s keel.

Development path

Describes a potential future climate and associated drivers. Development paths are also referred to as climate scenarios.

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Diatoms

Microalgae.

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Antarctic diatom from the genus Chaetoceros.

Dissipation

Transformation of one form of energy into another.

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Diurnal variation

Refers to changes in a given parameter in the course of the day.

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Divergence

This term is used to describe a type of sea-ice motion in which the ice generally drifts apart.

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Diverging / loosening up of drifting ice or ice fields

Due to divergent motion, the ice concentration is reduced, causing any tension in the ice to subside.

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Downscaling

Mathematical technique used to apply the projections in global climate models to the regional scale.

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Draft

The distance between the underside of sea ice and the ocean’s surface.

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Definitions in the context of measuring sea-ice thickness.

Drifting ice

A term used to broadly describe an area covered by sea ice, regardless of the type or distribution – except for fast ice and new ice. Examples include ice floes formed when grease ice or slush freezes in a choppy sea, or when sheets of new ice break up.

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Drifting ice

Ice on rivers, lakes or seas that moves in response to wind, currents or other forces.

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Drought

Drought refers to a lack of water, most often caused by insufficient precipitation and / or increased evaporation due to higher temperatures (or wind).

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Dynamic regional models

Dynamic regional models “reconstruct” Earth’s climate system on the basis of physically describable relations.

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