Northern ice discharges and Antarctic warming: could ocean eddies provide the link?.

Keeling , R. F. and Visbeck, Martin (2005) Northern ice discharges and Antarctic warming: could ocean eddies provide the link?. Quaternary Science Reviews, 24 (16-17). pp. 1809-1820. DOI 10.1016/j.quascirev.2005.04.005.

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Abstract

A mechanism is advanced for explaining the Antarctic warm events from 90 to 30ka BP which involves meltwater-induced changes in the salinity gradient across the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) and consequent changes in the poleward heat transport by ocean eddies. Based on simple linear scale analysis, the mechanism is shown to yield warming in the Antarctic interior of roughly the magnitude seen in Antarctic ice-core records (∼2 °C) in response to ice discharges into the North Atlantic. Consistent with observations, the mechanism produces gradual Antarctic warming and cooling, as dictated by the time required for salinity anomalies to build up and dissipate across the ACC. The mechanism also allows the onset of warming or cooling to be tied to changes in Atlantic overturning, which is relevant here, not for influencing ocean heat transport directly, but for influencing the routing of meltwater from the North Atlantic into the Southern Ocean. The ideas presented here highlight the possibility that eddy processes in the ocean may play a first-order role in aspects of climate variability on millennial time scales.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Ice, antarctic, Eddies
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2005.04.005
ISSN: 0277-3791
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2008 16:50
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2016 12:51
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/3834

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