Sea-ice retreat suggests re-organization of water mass transformation in the Nordic and Barents Seas

Moore, G. W. K., Våge, K., Renfrew, I. A. ORCID: and Pickart, R. S. (2022) Sea-ice retreat suggests re-organization of water mass transformation in the Nordic and Barents Seas. Nature Communications, 13. ISSN 2041-1723

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Water mass transformation in the Nordic and Barents Seas, triggered by air-sea heat fluxes, is an integral component of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). These regions are undergoing rapid warming, associated with a retreat in ice cover. Here we present an analysis covering 1950−2020 of the spatiotemporal variability of the air-sea heat fluxes along the region’s boundary currents, where water mass transformation impacts are large. We find there is an increase in the air-sea heat fluxes along these currents that is a function of the currents’ orientation relative to the axis of sea-ice change suggesting enhanced water mass transformation is occurring. Previous work has shown a reduction in heat fluxes in the interior of the Nordic Seas. As a result, a reorganization seems to be underway in where water mass transformation occurs, that needs to be considered when ascertaining how the AMOC will respond to a warming climate.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The authors would like to thank the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts for access to the ERA5. Funding Information: G.W.K.M. was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. K.V. has received funding from the Trond Mohn Foundation (BFS2016REK01). I.A.R. has received funding from the Natural Environmental Research Council for the AFIS project (NE/N009754/1). R.S.P. was supported by the US National Science Foundation. This study arose from discussions during the Iceland Greenland Seas Project.
Uncontrolled Keywords: chemistry(all),biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology(all),physics and astronomy(all) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1600
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2021 01:51
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 10:50
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-27641-6


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