The Transpolar Drift conveys methane from the Siberian Shelf to the central Arctic Ocean.

Damm, Ellen, Bauch, Dorothea , Krumpen, T., Rabe, Benjamin, Korhonen, M., Vinogradova, E. and Uhlig, C. (2018) The Transpolar Drift conveys methane from the Siberian Shelf to the central Arctic Ocean. Open Access Scientific Reports, 8 (Article number 4515). DOI 10.1038/s41598-018-22801-z.

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Methane sources and sinks in the Arctic are poorly quantified. In particular, methane emissions from the Arctic Ocean and the potential sink capacity are still under debate. In this context sea ice impact on and the intense cycling of methane between sea ice and Polar surface water (PSW) becomes pivotal. We report on methane super- and under-saturation in PSW in the Eurasian Basin (EB), strongly linked to sea ice-ocean interactions. In the southern EB under-saturation in PSW is caused by both inflow of warm Atlantic water and short-time contact with sea ice. By comparison in the northern EB long-time sea ice-PSW contact triggered by freezing and melting events induces a methane excess. We reveal the Ttranspolar Drift Stream as crucial for methane transport and show that inter-annual shifts in sea ice drift patterns generate inter-annually patchy methane excess in PSW. Using backward trajectories combined with δ18O signatures of sea ice cores we determine the sea ice source regions to be in the Laptev Sea Polynyas and the off shelf regime in 2011 and 2015, respectively. We denote the Transpolar Drift regime as decisive for the fate of methane released on the Siberian shelves.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: HGF-AWI
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
Publisher: Nature Research
Related URLs:
Projects: CATS
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2018 10:00
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 10:54

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