A tracer study of the Arctic Ocean's liquid freshwater export variability


We present an analysis of the variability of the liquid Arctic freshwater (FW) export, using a simulation from the Community Climate System Model Version 3 (CCSM3) that includes passive tracers for FW from different sources. It is shown that the FW exported through the western Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) comes mainly from the Pacific and from North American runoff. The variability of the FW export from both of these sources is generally in phase, due to the strong influence of variations of the velocity anomaly on the CAA FW export variability. The velocity anomaly in the CAA is in turn mainly governed by variations in the large-scale atmospheric circulation (i.e., the Arctic Oscillation). In Fram Strait, the FW export is mainly composed of Eurasian runoff and FW of Pacific origin. The variability of the Fram Strait FW export is governed both by changes in the velocity and in the FW concentration, and the variability of the FW concentration from the two largest sources is not in phase. The Eurasian runoff export through Fram Strait depends strongly on the release of FW from the Eurasian shelf, which occurs during years with an anticyclonic circulation [...

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oaioai:digitool.library.m...Last time updated on 6/16/2016

This paper was published in eScholarship@McGill.

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