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On large outflows of Arctic sea ice into the Barents Sea

Kwok, R; Maslowski, W; Laxon, SW; (2005) On large outflows of Arctic sea ice into the Barents Sea. Geophysical Research Letters , 32 (22) , Article L22503. 10.1029/2005GL024485. Green open access

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Abstract

Winter outflows of Arctic sea ice into the Barents Sea are estimated using a 10-year record of satellite ice motion and thickness. The mean winter volume export through the Svalbard/Franz Josef Land passage is 40 km(3), and ranges from - 280 km(3) to 340 km(3). A large outflow in 2003 is preconditioned by an unusually high concentration of thick perennial ice over the Nansen Basin at the end of the 2002 summer. With a deep atmospheric low situated over the eastern Barents Sea in winter, the result is an increased export of Arctic ice. The Oct-Mar ice area flux, at 110 x 10(3) km(2), is not only unusual in magnitude but also remarkable in that > 70% of the area is multiyear ice; the ice volume flux at similar to 340 km(3) is almost one-fifth of the ice flux through the Fram Strait. Another large outflow of Arctic sea ice through this passage, comparable to that in 2003, is found in 1996. This southward flux of sea ice represents one of two major sources of freshwater in the Barents Sea; the other is the eastward flux of water via the Norwegian Coastal Current. The possible consequences of variable freshwater input on the Barents Sea hydrography and its impact on transformation of Atlantic Water en route to the Arctic Ocean are examined with a 25-year coupled ice-ocean model.

Type:Article
Title:On large outflows of Arctic sea ice into the Barents Sea
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI:10.1029/2005GL024485
Publisher version:http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2005GL024485
Language:English
Additional information:Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union
Keywords:Fram strait, Transports, Region, Cover, Mass
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Earth Sciences

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