Feb 16, 2010

Simulated Arctic Ocean freshwater budgets in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries

Marika M. Holland, Joel Finnis, Mark C. Serreze
American Meteorological Society
  • Examines the Arctic Ocean freshwater budgets in climate model integrations of the twentieth and twenty-first century
  • Uses an ensemble of six members of the Community Climate System Model version 3 (CCSM3) to assess the anthropogenically forced trends over the integration length
  • Diagnoses mechanisms driving trends in the budgets 
  • Discusses the implications of changes in the Arctic–North Atlantic exchange on the Labrador Sea and Greenland–Iceland–Norwegian (GIN) Seas properties
  • Finds the Arctic freshens as a result of increased river runoff, net precipitation, and decreased ice growth over the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries
  • Finds that for many of the budget terms, the maximum 50-yr trends in the time series occur from approximately 1975 to 2025, suggesting that we are currently in the midst of large Arctic change
  • Finds the total freshwater exchange between the Arctic and North Atlantic increases over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with decreases in ice export more than compensated for by an increase in the liquid freshwater export