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On the flow of Atlantic water and temperature anomalies in the Nordic Seas toward the Arctic Ocean
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
Number of Authors: 4
2015 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, ISSN 2169-9275, E-ISSN 2169-9291, Vol. 120, no 12, 7897-7918 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The climatic conditions over the Arctic Ocean are strongly influenced by the inflow of warm Atlantic water conveyed by the Norwegian Atlantic Slope Current (NwASC). Based on sea surface height (SSH) data from altimetry, we develop a simple dynamical measure of the NwASC transport to diagnose its spatio-temporal variability. This supports a dynamical division of the NwASC into two flow regimes; the SvinOy Branch (SvB) in the southern Norwegian Sea, and the Fram Strait Branch (FSB) west of Spitsbergen. The SvB transport is well correlated with the SSH and atmospheric variability within the Nordic Seas, factors that also affect the inflow to the Barents Sea. In contrast, the FSB is influenced by regional atmospheric conditions around Svalbard and northern Barents Sea. Using a composite analysis, we further relate anomalous strong SvB flow events to temperature fluctuations along the core of Atlantic water. A warm composite anomaly is found to propagate northward, with a tendency to amplify enroute, after these events. A roughly 12 months delayed temperature signal is identified in the FSB. However, also in the Lofoten Basin interior a delayed temperature signal is found, which appears to originate from the NwASC. This study suggests that hydrographic anomalies both upstream from the North Atlantic, and locally generated in the Norwegian Sea, are important for the oceanic heat and salt transport that eventually enters into the Arctic.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 120, no 12, 7897-7918 p.
Keyword [en]
poleward transport, warm anomalies, Nordic Seas, Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea, sea-ice
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128015DOI: 10.1002/2015JC011012ISI: 000369153200011OAI: diva2:912712
Available from: 2016-03-17 Created: 2016-03-15 Last updated: 2016-03-17Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, JohanLundberg, Peter
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