Convection induced long term freshening of the subpolar North Atlantic Ocean View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

2008-02-08

AUTHORS

Peili Wu, Richard Wood

ABSTRACT

This paper is mainly concerned with the understanding and attribution of the recent observed freshening trend in the subpolar North Atlantic Ocean. From previous coupled model studies and an analysis of the long HadCM3 control simulation, it seems unlikely that this freshening trend is a direct consequence of anthropogenically forced climate change. It is shown in this paper that the subpolar North Atlantic can be freshened to the observed degree without invoking substantial large-scale surface freshwater flux changes. The source of freshening can come from a freshwater redistribution within the Arctic/subpolar North Atlantic. The redistribution (involving both liquid water and sea ice) is carried by a perturbed ocean circulation change in the subpolar seas and triggered by deep convection in the Labrador Sea. The freshening can be widespread but mainly in the north and northwest of the subpolar North Atlantic. A sustained 30–40 years freshening trend can be easily identified in specific locations such as the Labrador Sea or in the basin wide integral of freshwater storage. At the peak, the model subpolar North Atlantic can hold around 10,000 km3 of extra freshwater. An analysis of 1,400 years HadCM3 control simulation also reveals a good correlation between freshwater content anomalies and gyre transport in the subpolar North Atlantic on decadal timescales. A general mechanism involving circulation regime changes and freshwater redistribution between the subpolar North Atlantic and the Arctic/Nordic Seas is proposed, which can resolve a number of seemingly contradictory observed changes in the North Atlantic and contributes to the longer term goal of a full understanding of recent North Atlantic fresh water changes. More... »

PAGES

941-956

Journal

TITLE

Climate Dynamics

ISSUE

7-8

VOLUME

31

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s00382-008-0370-1

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00382-008-0370-1

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1031519177


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