Wind driven transport of fresh shelf waters into the Labrador Sea

Schulze, Lena and Frajka-Williams, E.

abstract: The formation of deep dense water during convection in the Labrador Sea is one of the driving mechanisms of the meridional overturning circulation (MOC). In the winter large air-sea fluxes remove surface buoyancy and allow the onset of the deep mixing. Recent increases in freshwater input in high latitudes through accelerated rates of Greenland and Arctic ice melt has the potential to add buoyancy to the region of convection and consequently slow or suppress dense water formation. Such a slow down would in turn result in a decrease of the MOC. It is therefore more important than ever to understand pathways of freshwater into the region of deep convection to predict how future climate change will impact ocean circulation. Using a Lagrangian approach, by tracking particles in a NEMO 1/12 degree ocean model, we examine where and when freshwater in the top 30 m enters the Labrador Sea basin.

  author = {Schulze, Lena and Frajka-Williams, E.},
  title = {Wind driven transport of fresh shelf waters into the {Labrador} {Sea}},
  journal = {J. Geophys. Res.},
  year = {in prep}