By using long-term observations, scientists from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel have now shown that freshwater has already impacted convection in the last decade. The results have been published in the international journal Nature Climate Change.
The study is based on the analysis of data obtained from moored observatories in the Labrador Sea and the Irminger Sea and from oceanographic floats. In addition, satellite observations of the ocean surface and atmospheric data were included. "For various periods over the last 60 years, we have been able to combine important processes: atmospheric variability, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation, water and air temperatures, the occurrence of fresh surface water, and the duration of convection," explains Dr. Marilena Oltmanns from GEOMAR, lead author of the study.
Evaluation - Data - Correlation - Sea - Surface
The evaluation of the data show a clear correlation between the sea surface temperatures in the Irminger Sea in summer, the amount of surface freshwater in this region and the atmospheric conditions and onset of convection in the following winter. "In case that warm summers with increased surface freshwater occur...
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