Hakkinen, S. ., NASA Goddard SFC, Greenbelt, USA, sirpa.hakkinen@nasa.gov
Rhines, P. B., University of Washington, Seattle, USA, rhines@ocean.washington.edu

SHIFTING SURFACE CURRENTS IN THE NORTHERN NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN

Analysis of surface drifter tracks in the North Atlantic Ocean from the time period 1990 to 2006 provides the first evidence that the Gulf Stream waters can have direct pathways to the Nordic Seas. Prior to 2000, the drifters entering the channels leading to the Nordic Seas originated in the western and central subpolar region. Since 2001 several paths from the western subtropics have been present in the drifter tracks leading to the Rockall Trough through which the most saline North Atlantic Waters pass to the Nordic Seas. Eddy kinetic energy from altimetry shows also the increased energy along the same paths as the drifters since 2000. These near- surface changes have taken effect while the altimetry shows a continual weakening of the subpolar gyre. These findings highlight the changes in the vertical structure of the northern North Atlantic Ocean, its dynamics and exchanges with the higher latitudes.

Oral presentation

Presentation is given by student: No
Session #:085
Date: 03-07-2008
Time: 10:15

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