Atlantification: Facing the Atlantic from the Arctic–a provocation

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Atlantic Studies now enters its third decade, and the ecological consequences of human entanglement with (or whelmedness by) the ocean will only intensify environmentally, politically, and culturally. How does the “Atlantic” in Atlantic Studies figure in this expansion and acceleration? This provocation meditates on the scientific term “Atlantification.” The Arctic Ocean has seen a significant strengthening of the inflow of Atlantic waters into the Arctic, which leads to the “Atlantification” of circumpolar seas. Atlantic water is warmer and saltier than Arctic water (icebergs, glaciers, and multiyear sea ice are freshwater, not salt), and Atlantification drives sea ice loss and profoundly disrupts the marine ecosystem. As Atlantic Studies looks to the future, the journal might respond to a charge of intellectual Atlantification: an ongoing, systemic study of the intermingling and deliquescence of boundaries between the human and the nonhuman, the past and the future, the Atlantic and the world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-194
Number of pages3
JournalAtlantic Studies : Global Currents
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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