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: Russia launches British comms satellite into space

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New global maps detail human-caused ocean acidification

Nov 10, 2014

A team of scientists has published the most comprehensive picture yet of how acidity levels vary across the world's oceans, providing a benchmark for years to come as enormous amounts of human-caused carbon ...

New discovery in Arctic is a very old clam

Dec 22, 2014

The rapidly thawing Arctic Ocean may be a new frontier but some of the latest news from there concerns a clam that is believed to date back more than a million years.

Methane is leaking from permafrost offshore Siberia

Dec 22, 2014

Yamal Peninsula in Siberia has recently become world famous. Spectacular sinkholes, appeared as out of nowhere in the permafrost of the area, sparking the speculations of significant release of greenhouse ...

Recommended for you

Japan launches new spy satellite

5 hours ago

Japan on Sunday successfully launched a back-up spy satellite, its aerospace agency said, after cancelling an earlier lift-off due to bad weather.

NASA launches satellite to measure soil moisture

5 hours ago

NASA on Saturday launched a new Earth-observing satellite that aims to give scientists high-resolution maps showing how much moisture lies in soil in order to improve climate forecasts.

Planck: Gravitational waves remain elusive

Jan 30, 2015

Despite earlier reports of a possible detection, a joint analysis of data from ESA's Planck satellite and the ground-based BICEP2 and Keck Array experiments has found no conclusive evidence of primordial ...

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.