Decline and partial rebound of the Labrador Current 1993-2004: Monitoring ocean currents from altimetric and CTD data.

Han, G., Ohashi, K., Chen, N., Myers, P. G., Nunes, Nuno and Fischer, Jürgen (2010) Decline and partial rebound of the Labrador Current 1993-2004: Monitoring ocean currents from altimetric and CTD data. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 115 . C12012. DOI 10.1029/2009JC006091.

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Monitoring and understanding of Labrador Current ariability is important because it is intimately linked to the meridional overturning circulation and the marine ecosystem off northeast North America. Nevertheless, knowledge of its decadal variability is inadequate because of scarcity of
current meter data. By using a novel synthesis of satellite altimetry with conductivity-temperaturedepth (CTD) data we assess the Labrador Current variability north of the Hamilton Bank (56oN) over 1993-2004. Our analysis shows a decline of the surface-to-bottom transport of current by 6.3 ± 1.5 Sv (1 Sv =106 m3 s-1) in the 1990s (significant at the 99% confidence level) and a likely partial
rebound of 3.2 ± 1.7 Sv in the early 2000s (significant at the 89% confidence level only). The inferred multiyear changes in the Labrador Current transport seem to be primarily barotropic and positively correlated (at the 99% level) with the North Atlantic Oscillation at zero lag implying a fast response of the regional circulation to the atmospheric forcing variability. The results compare favorably with direct current measurements and recent model-based findings on the multi-year variability of the subpolar gyre and its underlying mechanisms. The study demonstrates the feasibility of combining altimetry and CTD data for assessing the climatic variability of the
boundary currents.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Oceanography; Labrador Sea; Labrador Current
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: AGU (American Geophysical Union)
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2010 11:09
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2022 10:54

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