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Large-Scale Assessment Of The Arctic Ocean: Significant Increase In Freshwater Content Since 1990s

March 28, 2011 Comments off

nanopatentsandinnovations

The freshwater content of the upper Arctic Ocean has increased by about 20 percent since the 1990s. This corresponds to a rise of approx. 8,400 cubic kilometres and has the same magnitude as the volume of freshwater annually exported on average from this marine region in liquid or frozen form. This result is published by researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute in the journal Deep-Sea Research. The freshwater content in the layer of the Arctic Ocean near the surface controls whether heat from the ocean is emitted into the atmosphere or to ice. In addition, it has an impact on global ocean circulation.

Differences in the mean salinity of the Arctic Ocean above the 34 isohaline between 2006 to 2008 and 1992 to 1999.

Negative values are shown in yellow, green, and blue and stand for an increase of freshwater.

Image: Benjamin Rabe, Alfred Wegener Institute Read more…