skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Pickart, R."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract Water mass transformation in the Nordic and Barents Seas, triggered by air-sea heat fluxes, is an integral component of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). These regions are undergoing rapid warming, associated with a retreat in ice cover. Here we present an analysis covering 1950−2020 of the spatiotemporal variability of the air-sea heat fluxes along the region’s boundary currents, where water mass transformation impacts are large. We find there is an increase in the air-sea heat fluxes along these currents that is a function of the currents’ orientation relative to the axis of sea-ice change suggesting enhanced water mass transformation is occurring. Previous work has shown a reduction in heat fluxes in the interior of the Nordic Seas. As a result, a reorganization seems to be underway in where water mass transformation occurs, that needs to be considered when ascertaining how the AMOC will respond to a warming climate.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. Abstract Changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, which have the potential to drive societally-important climate impacts, have traditionally been linked to the strength of deep water formation in the subpolar North Atlantic. Yet there is neither clear observational evidence nor agreement among models about how changes in deep water formation influence overturning. Here, we use data from a trans-basin mooring array (OSNAP—Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program) to show that winter convection during 2014–2018 in the interior basin had minimal impact on density changes in the deep western boundary currents in the subpolar basins. Contrary to previous modeling studies, we find no discernable relationship between western boundary changes and subpolar overturning variability over the observational time scales. Our results require a reconsideration of the notion of deep western boundary changes representing overturning characteristics, with implications for constraining the source of overturning variability within and downstream of the subpolar region.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  3. Dense water masses formed in the Nordic Seas flow across the Greenland-Scotland Ridge and provide a major contribution to the lower limb of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Originally considered an important source of dense water, the Iceland Sea regained focus when the North Icelandic Jet - a current transporting dense water from the Iceland Sea into Denmark Strait - was discovered in the early 2000s. Here we use recent hydrographic data to quantify water mass transformation in the Iceland Sea and contrast present conditions with measurements from hydrographic surveys conducted four decades earlier. We demonstrate that substantial changes in the large-scale hydrographic structure and in the properties of the locally formed dense waters have taken place over this period in concert with a retreating ice edge and diminished ocean-to-atmosphere heat fluxes. This development has impacted the properties of the dense water masses available to supply the North Icelandic Jet.
  4. The densest overflow water from the Nordic Seas passes through the Faroe Bank Channel and contributes to the headwaters to the lower limb of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. The upstream pathways of this dense overflow water are not well known. Using data from a high-resolution hydrographic/velocity survey in 2011, as well as long-term moored velocity and shipboard hydrographic measurements north of the Faroe Islands, we present evidence of a current following the continental slope from Iceland toward the Faroe Bank Channel. This narrow current, which we call the Iceland-Faroe Slope Jet (IFSJ), is bottom-intensified and associated with dense water banked up on the slope. North of the Faroe Islands the IFSJ is situated beneath the Faroe Current, and its variability is tightly linked to the flow of Atlantic Water above. The bulk of the IFSJ’s volume transport is confined to a small area in ϴ-S space centered near a potential density anomaly of 28.06 kg m-3. This is slightly denser than the transport mode of the North Icelandic Jet, which follows shallower isobaths along the slope north of Iceland in the opposite direction and feeds the Denmark Strait overflow. However, the similarity of the hydrographic properties suggests that themore »two currents have a common source. The average transport of water denser than σϴ = 27.8 kg m-3 in the IFSJ is on the order of 1 Sv, which may account for roughly 50% of the overflow through the Faroe Bank Channel.« less