Fate of Early 2000s Arctic Warm Water Pulse

Polyakov, Igor V.; Alexeev, Vladimir A.; Ashik, Igor M.; Bacon, Sheldon ORCID:; Beszczynska-Möller, Agnieszka; Carmack, Eddy C.; Dmitrenko, Igor A.; Fortier, Louis; Gascard, Jean-Claude; Hansen, Edmond; Hölemann, Jens; Ivanov, Vladimir V.; Kikuchi, Takashi; Kirillov, Sergey; Lenn, Yueng-Djern; McLaughlin, Fiona A.; Piechura, Jan; Repina, Irina; Timokhov, Leonid A.; Walczowski, Waldemar; Woodgate, Rebecca. 2011 Fate of Early 2000s Arctic Warm Water Pulse. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 92 (5). 561-566.

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The water mass structure of the Arctic Ocean is remarkable, for its intermediate (depth range ~150–900 m) layer is filled with warm (temperature >0°C) and salty water of Atlantic origin (usually called the Atlantic Water, AW). This water is carried into and through the Arctic Ocean by the pan-Arctic boundary current, which moves cyclonically along the basins’ margins (Fig. 1). This system provides the largest input of water, heat, and salt into the Arctic Ocean; the total quantity of heat is substantial, enough to melt the Arctic sea ice cover several times over. By utilizing an extensive archive Fate of Early 2000s Arctic Warm Water Pulse of recently collected observational data, this study provides a cohesive picture of recent large-scale changes in the AW layer of the Arctic Ocean. These recent observations show the warm pulse of AW that entered the Arctic Ocean in the early 1990s finally reached the Canada Basin during the 2000s. The second warm pulse that entered the Arctic Ocean in the mid-2000s has moved through the Eurasian Basin and is en route downstream. One of the most intriguing results of these observations is the realization of the possibility of uptake of anomalous AW heat by overlying layers, with possible implications for an already-reduced Arctic ice cover.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 00030007
Date made live: 20 Jul 2011 13:16 +0 (UTC)

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