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  • Igor Polyakov
    University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Tom Rippeth
  • Ilker Fer
    University of Bergen
  • Till Baumann
    University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Eddy Carmack
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Vladimir Ivanov
    Lomonosov Moscow State University
  • M.A. Janout
    Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
  • Laurie Padman
    Earth & Space Research
  • Andrey Pnyushkov
    University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Robert Rember
    University of Alaska Fairbanks
A 15-year (2004-2018) record of mooring observations from the upper 50m ocean in the eastern Eurasian Basin reveals increased current speeds and shear, associated with an increasing coupling between wind, ice, and oceanic currents and their vertical shear over 2004-2018, particularly in summer. Substantial increases in both current speeds and shears in the upper 50 m are dominated by a 3-4 times amplification of currents in the semidiurnal band, which includes tides and wind-forced near-inertial oscillations. For the first time the strengthening upper ocean currents and shear are observed to coincide with weakening stratification, implying a increasing coupling between the wind and sea ice with upper ocean currents and shear. This coupling links the Atlantic Water heat to the sea ice, a consequence of which would be reducing regional sea ice volume. These results point to a new positive feedback mechanism in which reduced sea ice extent facilites more energetic inertial oscillations and associated upper-ocean shear leading in enhanced ventilation of the Atlantic water.


  • Actric Ocean, Mixing
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020GL089469
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number16
Early online date4 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2020

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