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Arctic-Subarctic Ocean Fluxes: Defining the Role of the Northern Seas in Climate

Edited By: Robert R Dickson, Jens Meincke and Peter Rhines

736 pages, Col & b/w figs, tabs


Hardback | Feb 2008 | #171215 | ISBN-13: 9781402067730
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £199.99 $262/€228 approx

About this book

The two-way oceanic exchanges that connect the Arctic and Atlantic oceans through subarctic seas are of fundamental importance to climate. Change may certainly be imposed on the Arctic Ocean from subarctic seas, including a changing poleward ocean heat flux that is central to determining the present state and future fate of the perennial sea-ice. And the signal of Arctic change is expected to have its major climatic impact by reaching south through subarctic seas, either side of Greenland, to modulate the Atlantic thermohaline `conveyor'.

Developing the predictive skills of climate models is seen to be the most direct way of extending the ability of society to mitigate for or adapt to 'global change' and is the main justification for continuing an intense observational effort in these waters. As records have lengthened, they have shown that important aspects of oceanic exchange through subarctic seas are currently at a long-term extreme state, providing further motivation for their study. As one important example, the longest records of all show that the temperature of the main oceanic inflow to the Norwegian Sea along the Scottish shelf and slope, and the temperature of the poleward extension of that flow through the Kola Section of the Barents Sea have never been greater in >100 years. However, we are only now beginning to understand the climatic impact of the remarkable events that are currently in train in subarctic waters, and models remain undecided on some of the most basic issues that link change in our northern seas to climate.

Reviewing the achievements of an intense recent observing and modelling effort, this volume intends to assemble the body of evidence that climate models will need if they are one day to make that assessment, quantifying the ocean exchanges through subarctic seas, describing their importance to climate as we currently understand it, explaining their variability, setting out our current ideas on the forcing of these fluxes and our improved capability in modelling the fluxes themselves and the processes at work. Much of that evidence is assembled here for the first time.


A. The Subarctic seas as a source of Arctic change. 1. The inflow of Atlantic water, heat, and salt to the Nordic Seas across the Greenland-Scotland Ridge 2. Flux of heat, salt and mass to the Arctic Ocean via Norway Coast and Barents Sea 3. Flux of heat, salt and mass to the Arctic Ocean via Fram Strait. Eberhard Fahrbach 4. The debate about the importance of ocean heat transport to climate 5. Long-term variability of Atlantic water inflow to the Northern Seas: insights from model experiments B. The freshwater flux from Northern seas as a moderator of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation 6. Freshwater storage in the Northern Ocean: spatial distribution and temporal variation 7. Modelling the sea ice export through Fram Strait 8. Arctic outflows across the Canadian Polar Shelf 9. The freshwater flux from Hudson Strait 10. Freshwater fluxes east of Greenland 11. Changing ideas about how freshwater impacts the AMOC at local, regional and global scales 12. Constraints on calculating the balances of heat, mass and salt for the Arctic Mediterranean 13. Variability and change in the atmospheric branch of the Arctic hydrologic cycle 14. Simulating the terms in the Arctic hydrological budget. Peili Wu, Helmuth Haak 15. Is the Conveyor Belt Threatened by Arctic Ocean Fresh Water Outflow? 16. Long term variability of the freshwater export from the Arctic Ocean as seen in model results C. The dense water overflows from Northern Seas as drivers of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. 17. The overflow flux east of Iceland: variability, origins, forcing and fate 18. The overflow flux west of Iceland: variability, origins and forcing 19. Tracer evidence of DSOW origins and variability 20. Transformation and fate of the overflows in the subpolar North Atlantic 21. Modelling of dense overflows D. The 'receiving volume' of the northern North Atlantic. 22. Satellite evidence of change in the Northern Gyre 23. The history of Labrador Sea Water 24. Convective- to gyrescale-dynamics, the first SeaGlider campaigns, 2003-5 25. The 'footprint' of subgrid convective events and their climatic importance 26. North Atlantic Deep Water transformation in the Labrador Sea, recirculation through the subpolar gyre, and discharge to the subtropics 27. Accessing the inaccessible: towards an understanding of Subarctic shelf processes E. Invited lectures 28. The bursting of the Baltic and its impact: the 'European Lake Agassiz' Lennart Bengtsson, Director, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, 1991 - 2000. 29. Trends in the Climatic Forcing of Northern Seas'. Jim Hurrell, Director, Climate Dynamics Division, NCAR F. Conclusions. 30. How would ASOF define the cutting-edge questions for the IPY across its domain? In the light of these, what is an appropriate ocean-observing system for climate in subarctic seas? ASOF Group.

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