Transient response of the Arctic Ocean to changing freshwater input
Freshwater input to the Arctic Ocean through precipitation, river runoff and ice melt is projected to increase substantially over the coming decades. How is the Ocean expected to respond, and what will be the impact on export of freshwater to lower latitudes where it can affect a range of physical and biological processes? Simulations using a coupled ice-ocean circulation model suggest that increases in river runoff and precipitation will results in changes to the cold halocline, weakened freshwater storage in the Beaufort Gyre and altered export pathways. I shall discuss the transient response of Arctic Ocean freshwater content in the simulations, focussing on how this varies with the nature and scale of perturbation of freshwater input, and giving some pointers to interactions that still need to be understood to inform future projections of Arctic freshwater export.