Wind forcing of the Arctic and North Atlantic freshwater system

tamas.kovacs [ at ]


Oceanic processes in the Arctic and in the North Atlantic that play a key role in the global ocean circulation are often sensitive to density stratification of water, which is greatly shaped by salinity, or in another measure, by freshwater content. The freshwater budgets of these oceans are connected by currents that convey large volumes of water of different characteristics between one another. However, these budgets show spatial and temporal variations, and the fluxes between them cannot be considered constant either. The freshwater system of the Arctic linked to the North Atlantic is dynamic with changes and anomalies on different time scales, and the changes of this joint system seem to be in correlation with the evolution of atmospheric forcing patterns. Previous studies suggest the importance of wind stress forcing over key regions such as the Beaufort Sea or the Greenland Sea in influencing the distribution of freshwater. In this study we examine the sensitivity of freshwater distribution and fluxes between the Arctic and the North Atlantic oceans to wind stress forcing through numerical experiments. The tool for this is the Modini-system, a partial coupling technique that allows flexible experiments with prescribed wind stress fields for the ocean in the otherwise fully coupled Earth System Model of the Max Planck Institute. In this work we present the first results in investigating the role of atmospheric forcing in shaping freshwater reservoirs and exchanges between different oceanic subregions by comparing our model results using external wind stress forcing with the Modini-system, and fully coupled runs.

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Conference (Poster)
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YOUMARES 8, 13 Sep 2017 - 15 Sep 2017, Kiel, Germany.
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Kovacs, T. and Gerdes, R. (2017): Wind forcing of the Arctic and North Atlantic freshwater system , YOUMARES 8, Kiel, Germany, 13 September 2017 - 15 September 2017 .

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