Connections among ice, runoff and atmospheric forcing in the Beaufort Gyre

Citation:
Macdonald, RW, Carmack EC, McLaughlin FA, Falkner KK, Swift JH.  1999.  Connections among ice, runoff and atmospheric forcing in the Beaufort Gyre. Geophysical Research Letters. 26:2223-2226.

Date Published:

Aug

Keywords:

arctic sea-ice, circulation, cover, fresh-water, ocean, temperature

Abstract:

During SHEBA, thin ice and freshening of the Arctic Ocean surface in the Beaufort Sea led to speculation that perennial sea ice was disappearing [McPhee Ei al., 1998]. Since 1987, we have collected salinity, delta(18)O and Ba profiles near the initial SHEBA site and, in 1997, we ran a section out to SHEBA. Resolving fresh water into runoff and ice melt, we found a large background of Mackenzie River water with exceptional amounts in 1997 explaining much of the freshening at SHEBA. Ice melt went through a dramatic 4-6 m jump in the early 1990s coinciding with the atmospheric pressure field and sea-ice circulation becoming more cyclonic. The increase in sea-ice melt appears to be a thermal and mechanical response to a circulation regime shift. Should atmospheric circulation revert to the more anticyclonic mode, ice conditions can also be expected to revert a! though not necessarily to previous conditions.

Notes:

n/a

Website

DOI:

10.1029/1999gl900508