Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-458
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-458
16 Feb 2024
 | 16 Feb 2024

Continued warming of deep waters in Fram Strait

Salar Karam, Céline Heuzé, Mario Hoppmann, and Laura de Steur

Abstract. Fram Strait is the only deep gateway between the Arctic and the rest of the World Ocean, and is thus a key region to understand how the deep Arctic will evolve. However, studies and data regarding the deep ocean are scarce, making it difficult to understand its role in the climate system. Here we analyse oceanographic data from the deep ocean from two long-term mooring locations (F11 and HG-FEVI) in Fram Strait between 2010–2023, to investigate long-term changes in the hydrographic properties. We compile hydrographic profile data since the 1980’s for additional context in the upstream basins: the Greenland Sea, and the Eurasian Basin. At mooring F11 in western Fram Strait, we find a clear seasonality, with increased Greenland Sea Deep Water (GSDW) presence during summer, and increased Eurasian Basin Deep Water (EBDW) presence during winter. Evaluating long-term changes, we find a modest temperature increase of ∼ 0.1 °C for EBDW since the 1980’s. For GSDW, south of Fram Strait, we find a strong temperature increase of ∼ 0.4–0.5 °C for the same period. The different warming rates have led to GSDW becoming warmer than EBDW since ∼ 2017/2018. This means that the Greenland Sea is no longer a heat sink for the Arctic Ocean at depth, but a heat source. It is therefore possible that EBDW temperatures will increase faster in the future.

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Salar Karam, Céline Heuzé, Mario Hoppmann, and Laura de Steur

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Review of “Continued warming of deep waters in Fram Strait” by Karam et al', Anonymous Referee #1, 19 Mar 2024
    • RC2: 'Review of “Continued warming of deep waters in Fram Strait” by Salar Karam et al.', Anonymous Referee #2, 07 Apr 2024
      • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Salar Karam, 11 May 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Salar Karam, 11 May 2024

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Review of “Continued warming of deep waters in Fram Strait” by Karam et al', Anonymous Referee #1, 19 Mar 2024
    • RC2: 'Review of “Continued warming of deep waters in Fram Strait” by Salar Karam et al.', Anonymous Referee #2, 07 Apr 2024
      • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Salar Karam, 11 May 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Salar Karam, 11 May 2024
Salar Karam, Céline Heuzé, Mario Hoppmann, and Laura de Steur
Salar Karam, Céline Heuzé, Mario Hoppmann, and Laura de Steur

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Short summary
A long-term mooring array in Fram Strait allows for an evaluation in decadal trends in temperature in this major oceanic gateway into the Arctic. Since the 1980’s, the deep waters of the Greenland Sea and the Eurasian Basin of the Arctic have warmed rapidly at a rate of 0.11 °C and 0.05 °C per decade, respectively, at a depth of 2500 m. We show that the temperatures of the two basins converged around 2017, and that the deep waters of the Greenland Sea are now a heat source for the Arctic Ocean.