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Freshwater balance of the Arctic Ocean

PI: Ruediger Gerdes
Institution: Alfred Wegener Institute
The Arctic Ocean fresh water balance has shown considerable fluctuations in the recent past. Over the last 3-4 decades, sea ice volume and the fresh water stored in the Arctic halocline apparently decreased. The fresh water was exported into the Nordic Seas and the subpolar North Atlantic with possible consequences for the overflows and LSW formation. We propose to analyze the fresh water exchanges of the Arctic Ocean with the Pacific and Atlantic, the role of sea ice and precipitation and run off in AR4 climate model simulations.

The work will be done by R.Gerdes, M.Karcher, F.Kauker, and C.Koeberle at the Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Bremerhaven, Germany.

Model data required are monthly mean fields of all ocean quantities, for the duration of control and scenario runs. For analysis of the forcing of fresh water variability, monthly mean fields of surface fluxes and atmospheric surface quantities (wind stress, scalar wind, surface air temperature, dew point temperature, SLP, cloudiness, precipitation) would be desirable. Furthermore, we would need sea ice conditions (ice thickness, concentration, ice drift, melting/freezing rates) and run off data.
  • Gerdes R., and C. Koberle, 2007: Comparison of Arctic sea ice thickness variability in IPCC Climate of the 20th Century experiments and in ocean–sea ice hindcasts. J.Geophys.Res, 112, doi:10.1029/2006JC003616.. Abstract. Edit.

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