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Great salinity anomalies

PI: Grant Bigg
Institution: University of Sheffield
Recent analysis of the HadCM3 control run (Wadley and Bigg, 2004, GRL, in press) has demonstrated the occurrence of Great Salinity Anomalies similar to those experienced in the northern Atlantic over the last few decades in a coupled model. Even the timescale for such an anomaly to pass around the Nordic Seas and sub-polar gyre is reproduced. Analysis suggests that these events are not purely advective but involve ocean-atmosphere coupling. It is proposed to examine the ubiquity of these events in different coupled model runs, and to what extent their characteristics change with a changing climate, focusing on correlation with changes to Arctic sea-ice flux through Fram Strait and the North Atlantic Oscillation. This work is proposed to be carried out by Grant Bigg and Edward Hanna of the Department of Geography, University of Sheffield. It requires 3D monthly-mean fields of ocean salinity, temperature and velocity over the Arctic and northern Atlantic north of 40N (surface fields would be adequate but restrict study of vertical extent of anomalies), and monthly-mean fields of sea-ice concentration and sea level pressure over the same region.
  • Bigg, G.R. and M.R. Wadley, 2007: The simulation of “Great Salinity Anomalies” in coupled climate models. J. Geophys. Res., 112, doi:10.1029/2005JD007025. Abstract. Edit.

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