Recently, freshwater changes have been observed both in the Arctic Ocean and the subpolar North Atlantic. Aiming on investigating possible links we compare the freshwater contents of both regions and find a distinct multidecadal anti-correlation. Furthermore these changes are correlated with the dominant atmospheric oscillation indices (AO and NAO). To further investigate the involved processes we show results from a simulation using a global finite-element sea-ice ocean model. These results suggest changing freshwater exports from the Arctic Ocean to be responsible for the anti-correlation. We propose Arctic freshwater accumulation and release as a response to multidecadal alternations of the dominant large-scale atmospheric variability as the main driver. According to the present phase of this large-scale atmospheric variability, the freshwater accumulated during the previous decades in the Arctic Ocean might be released into the sub-Arctic Seas in the coming years. This has the potential to impact on the North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation.
Thursday 25 May 2017 - 14:00 to 15:00
NOC Southampton - Node Room (074/02) (Waterfront Campus).
Myriel Horn (AWI)