Arctic-Subarctic Ocean Fluxes: Defining the Role of the Northern Seas in Climate

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A refined water mass classification for Fram Strait was derived and the possibility was explored to compute the time evolution of heat and salt fluxes through Fram Strait. A list of publications can be found on the project website.

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Socio-economic relevance and policy implications Variability of the ocean circulation and the water mass distribution in the Nordic Seas lead to changes in the volume, heat and freshwater fluxes between the Arctic Ocean and North Atlantic. Changes in these fluxes can have a strong influence on the role of the ocean in the climate system which includes the potential of abrupt climate changes.

Professor, Climate, Atmospheric Science & Physical Oceanography

The climate variability in particular in the northern North Atlantic has a strong impact on the living conditions in Northwest Europe. This includes energy consumption, sea traffic and marine living resources. Therefore a reliable prediction system is of high value to maintain the present living conditions.

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Prediction requires understanding and modelling of the relevant processes and monitoring key parameters to validate and constrain the models. Since variability of the relevant time scales can be only studied on the base of the long-term time series, ASOF-N aimed to pave the way towards an observing system consisting of a cost effective array of instruments in the key areas for the exchanges between the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean.

Arctic–Subarctic Ocean Fluxes, Defining the Role of the Northern Seas in Climate - Dimensions

The results of ASOF-N will help to design such a system, to give advice for its implementation and consequently contribute to maintain the quality of life in Northwest Europe. Conclusion The evaluation of the available historical data together with the results of the ASOF-N field measurements and modelling results revealed a significant warming of the Atlantic Water propagating through the ASOF-N region and an increased heat flux into the Arctic Ocean.

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Maslanik, T. Steele, and C. Rosen, E. Such anomalies were recorded in the Fram Strait in too. Other titles from Springer. Science, , —

The data indicate that variations of the fluxes between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean occur on a wide range of time scales and are interlinked between the main passages. The volume and heat fluxes are also controlled by local and remote atmospheric forcing.

Freshwater in the North Atlantic

Both in the Barents Sea Opening and Fram Strait variability of temperature is independent of the variations in the volume flux. The former is dominated by advective processes and depends mostly on the upstream conditions while the latter is related to the local atmospheric forcing.

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All these changes occur over long time scales and only quasi-continuous measurements over a decade and more give a chance to identify the nature of these fluctuations. Developing the predictive skills of climate models is seen to be the most direct way of extending the ability of society to mitigate for or adapt to 'global change' and is the main justification for continuing an intense observational effort in these waters.

As records have lengthened, they have shown that important aspects of oceanic exchange through subarctic seas are currently at a long-term extreme state, providing further motivation for their study. However, we are only now beginning to understand the climatic impact of the remarkable events that are currently in train in subarctic waters, and models remain undecided on some of the most basic issues that link change in our northern seas to climate.

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Reviewing the achievements of an intense recent observing and modelling effort, this volume intends to assemble the body of evidence that climate models will need if they are one day to make that assessment, quantifying the ocean exchanges through subarctic seas, describing their importance to climate as we currently understand it, explaining their variability, setting out our current ideas on the forcing of these fluxes and our improved capability in modelling the fluxes themselves and the processes at work.

Much of that evidence is assembled here for the first time. Back to results Back to item. Queen Margaret University Library.

Holdings information at Queen Margaret University Library

The two-way oceanic exchanges that connect the Arctic and Atlantic oceans through subarctic seas are of fundamental importance to climate. Change may. Arctic–Subarctic Ocean Fluxes: Defining the Role of the Northern Seas in Climate . A General Introduction. Authors; Authors and affiliations. Bob Dickson; Jens.