Arctic Ocean waters warm suddenly

Oct 07, 2005

Water flowing from the North Atlantic Ocean into the Arctic provides evidence that the Arctic Ocean is warming, according to U.S. and European researchers.

Igor V. Polyakov and colleagues at the International Arctic Research Center at University of Alaska-Fairbanks measured the temperature, salinity and velocity of the Atlantic Water, a warm, salty layer -- 500 to 3,000 feet -- of ocean water that flows through the Norwegian Sea into the Arctic Ocean.

The temperature of the Atlantic Water entering the Arctic Ocean increased dramatically in 2004, warming in two abrupt stages in February and August says Polyakov. The anomalously warm water is currently flowing along the basin margins toward the interior of the Arctic Ocean.

The authors suggest that enhanced westerly winds in the North Atlantic pushed warm water into the Norwegian Sea, and from there it flowed into the Arctic Ocean.

The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, found the winds are due to changes in atmospheric conditions, but the authors say more evidence is needed to determine if the associated warming is the result of long-term change or part of a recurrent climate cycle.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Greenland darkening to continue, predicts CCNY expert Marco Tedesco

Related Stories

Pro-Saudi hackers seize Iran TV's social media accounts

10 hours ago

Hackers took over the social media accounts of Iran's Al-Alam television Sunday and posted material supportive of the Saudi-led air war against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen, the Arabic-language channel said.

Subzero learning environment enabling avalanche research

10 hours ago

A recent article about avalanche research in Popular Science referred to the effort toward knowing more about the avalanche in its subhead as "snowslide science," and the article was about the interesting lab wo ...

Recommended for you

Mercury MESSENGER nears epic mission end

5 hours ago

A spacecraft that carries a sensor built at the University of Michigan is about to crash into the planet closest to the sun—just as NASA intended.

Dawn glimpses Ceres' north pole

7 hours ago

After spending more than a month in orbit on the dark side of dwarf planet Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has captured several views of the sunlit north pole of this intriguing world. These images were taken ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.