The Physical System of the Arctic Ocean and Subarctic Seas in a Changing Climate

myriel.vredenborg [ at ]


The Earth’s climate is changing and the poles are particularly sensitive to the global warming, with most evident implications over the Arctic. While summer sea ice reduced significantly compared to the previous decades, and the atmospheric warming is amplified over the Arctic, changes in the ocean are less obvious due to its higher inertia. Still, impacts of the changing climate on high-latitude and polar oceans are already observable and expected to further increase. The northern seas are essential regions for the maintenance of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, which in turn is a key aspect of the maritime climate. Alterations in heat and freshwater/salinity content in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas impact and are closely linked to buoyancy flux distributions, which control the vertical and horizontal motion of water masses, thus impacting the climate system on a longer time scale. In this context, we set our focus on the Arctic Ocean and Atlantic subarctic seas, review some of the contemporary knowledge and speculations on the complex coupling between atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean, and describe the important elements of its physical oceanography. This assessment is an attempt to raise awareness that investigating the pathways and timescales of oceanic responses and contributions is fundamental to better understand the current climate change.

Item Type
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Publication Status
Published online
Eprint ID
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-93284-2_3

Cite as
Campos, C. and Horn, M. (2018): The Physical System of the Arctic Ocean and Subarctic Seas in a Changing Climate / S. Jungblut ORCID: , V. Liebich and M. Bode (editors) , YOUMARES 8--Oceans Across Boundaries: Learning from each other, Springer, ISBN: 978-3-319-93284-2 . doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-93284-2_3

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