The coherence of the oceanic heat transport through the Nordic seas: oceanic heat budget and interannual variability
Abstract. Atlantic Water is the main source of the heat and salt in the Arctic. On the way to the Arctic Ocean via the Nordic Seas, it interacts and mixes with other water masses which affects sea ice extent and deep water formation. The Atlantic Water heat transported into the Nordic Seas has a significant impact on the local climate and is investigated here along with its inter-annual variability using the ARMOR3D dataset, which is a collection of 3D monthly temperature, salinity and geostrophic velocities fields, derived from in situ and satellite data on a regular grid since 1993. The study region includes the eastern part of the Nordic seas, i.e., seven latitudinal transects from Svinoy section (65° N) to the northern part of the Fram Strait (78.8° N). The Atlantic Water heat advection decreases northwards, as a significant amount of heat is lost to the atmosphere and due to mixing with surrounding waters. As observed, the imbalance of heat fluxes in the upper layer leads to an increase in the upper ocean mean temperature over most of the study region. The correlations of the interannual variations of the advective heat fluxes rapidly drop from Svinoy to Jan Mayen sections and between Bear Island and Sorkapp sections. This is a result of a differential damping of periodicities (the 2–3 year and 5–6 year oscillations), as well as of different signs of the tendencies over the latest decades. The heat fluxes at all sections show a consistent change with meridional (C) and western (W) weather types, which is due to the different direction of the Ekman pumping associated with each of the weather types. A certain link to the NAO, AO and EA atmospheric indices is observed only at the southern sections.
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