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Linkages between atmospheric blocking, sea ice export through Fram Strait and the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation
Ionita, M.; Scholz, P.; Lohmann, G.; Dima, M.; Prange, M. (2016). Linkages between atmospheric blocking, sea ice export through Fram Strait and the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. NPG Scientific Reports 6(32881): 10 pp. hdl.handle.net/10.1038/srep32881
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Ionita, M.
  • Scholz, P.
  • Lohmann, G.
  • Dima, M.
  • Prange, M.

Abstract
    As a key persistent component of the atmospheric dynamics, the North Atlantic blocking activity has been linked to extreme climatic phenomena in the European sector. It has also been linked to Atlantic multidecadal ocean variability, but its potential links to rapid oceanic changes have not been investigated. Using a global ocean-sea ice model forced with atmospheric reanalysis data, here it is shown that the 1962–1966 period of enhanced blocking activity over Greenland resulted in anomalous sea ice accumulation in the Arctic and ended with a sea ice flush from the Arctic into the North Atlantic Ocean through Fram Strait. This event induced a significant decrease of Labrador Sea water surface salinity and an abrupt weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) during the 1970s. These results have implications for the prediction of rapid AMOC changes and indicate that an important part of the atmosphere-ocean dynamics at mid- and high latitudes requires a proper representation of the Fram Strait sea ice transport and of the synoptic scale variability such as atmospheric blocking, which is a challenge for current coupled climate models.

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