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Uncertainties in the Arctic Ocean response to CO₂: a process-based analysis

Saenko, O. A., Gregory, J. M. and Tandon, N. F. (2023) Uncertainties in the Arctic Ocean response to CO₂: a process-based analysis. Climate Dynamics. ISSN 1432-0894

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00382-023-06986-2


Using an ensemble of atmosphere–ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) in an idealized climate change experiment, this study evaluates the contribution of different ocean processes to Arctic Ocean warming. On the AOGCM-mean, the Arctic Ocean warming is greater than the global ocean warming, both in the volume-weighted mean, and at most depths within the upper 2000 m. However, the uncertainty of Arctic Ocean warming is much larger than the uncertainty of global ocean warming. The Arctic warming is greatest a few 100 m below the surface and is dominated by the import of extra heat, which is added to the ocean at lower latitudes and is conveyed to the Arctic mostly by the large-scale barotropic ocean circulation. The change in strength of this circulation in the North Atlantic is relatively small and not correlated with the Arctic Ocean warming. The Arctic Ocean warming is opposed and substantially mitigated by the weakening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), though the magnitude of this effect has a large model spread. By reducing the northward transport of heat, the AMOC weakening causes a redistribution of heat from high latitudes to low latitudes. Within the Arctic Ocean, the propagation of heat anomalies is influenced by broadening of cyclonic circulation in the east and weakening of anticyclonic circulation in the west. On the model-mean, the Arctic Ocean warming is most pronounced in the Eurasian Basin, with large spread across the AOGCMs, and accompanied by subsurface cooling by diapycnal mixing and heat redistribution by mesoscale eddies.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
ID Code:114059


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