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Science. 2017 Apr 21;356(6335):285-291. doi: 10.1126/science.aai8204. Epub 2017 Apr 6.

Greater role for Atlantic inflows on sea-ice loss in the Eurasian Basin of the Arctic Ocean.

Author information

1
International Arctic Research Center and College of Natural Science and Mathematics, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 930 Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA. igor@iarc.uaf.edu.
2
International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 930 Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA.
3
Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, 1013 Northeast 40th Street, Seattle, WA 98105, USA.
4
Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, 38 Bering Street, Saint Petersburg 199397, Russia.
5
International Arctic Research Center and College of Natural Science and Mathematics, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 930 Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA.
6
Institute of Ocean Sciences, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 9860 West Saanich Road, Sidney, BC, V8L 4B2, Canada.
7
Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Powstancow Warszawy 55, 81-712 Sopot, Poland.
8
International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 930 Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, AK, 99775, USA.
9
Hydrometeorological Center of Russia, 11-13, B, Predtechensky Pereulok, Moscow, 123242, Russia.
10
Alfred-Wegener-Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bussestraße 24, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany.
11
Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Bremen University, Otto-Hahn Allee, 28334 Bremen, Germany.
12
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 22 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA.
13
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive Pasadena, CA 91109, USA.
14
Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, N-9296 Tromsø, Norway.

Abstract

Arctic sea-ice loss is a leading indicator of climate change and can be attributed, in large part, to atmospheric forcing. Here, we show that recent ice reductions, weakening of the halocline, and shoaling of the intermediate-depth Atlantic Water layer in the eastern Eurasian Basin have increased winter ventilation in the ocean interior, making this region structurally similar to that of the western Eurasian Basin. The associated enhanced release of oceanic heat has reduced winter sea-ice formation at a rate now comparable to losses from atmospheric thermodynamic forcing, thus explaining the recent reduction in sea-ice cover in the eastern Eurasian Basin. This encroaching "atlantification" of the Eurasian Basin represents an essential step toward a new Arctic climate state, with a substantially greater role for Atlantic inflows.

PMID:
28386025
DOI:
10.1126/science.aai8204
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