Variability in Atlantic water temperature and transport at the entrance to the Arctic Ocean, 1997-2010


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Lilian.Schubert [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

The variability in Atlantic water temperature and volume transport in the West Spitsbergen Current (WSC), based on measurements by an array of moorings in Fram Strait (78°50′N) over the period 1997–2010, is addressed. The long-term mean net volume transport in the current of 6.6 ± 0.4 Sv (directed northwards) delivered 3.0 ± 0.2 Sv of Atlantic water (AW) warmer than 2°C. The mean temperature of the AW inflow was 3.1 ± 0.1°C. On interannual time-scales, a nearly constant volume flux in the WSC core (long-term mean 1.8 ± 0.1 Sv northwards, including 1.3 ± 0.1 Sv of AW warmer than 2°C, and showing no seasonal variability) was accompanied by a highly variable transport of 2–6 Sv in the offshore branch (long-term mean of 5 ± 0.4 Sv, strong seasonal variability, and 1–2 Sv of warm AW). Two warm anomalies were found in the AW passing through Fram Strait in 1999–2000 and 2005–2007. For the period 1997–2010, there was a positive linear trend in the AW mean temperature of 0.06°C year−1, but no statistically significant trend was observed in the AW volume transport. A possible impact of warming on AW propagation in the Arctic Ocean and properties of the outflow to the North Atlantic are also discussed.



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Peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Eprint ID
36343
DOI 10.1093/icesjms/fss056

Cite as
Beszczynska-Möller, A. , Fahrbach, E. , Schauer, U. and Hansen, E. (2012): Variability in Atlantic water temperature and transport at the entrance to the Arctic Ocean, 1997-2010 , ICES Journal of Marine Science, 69 (5), pp. 852-863 . doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fss056


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