Mauritzen Cecilie

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  • Article
    Atlantic climate variability and predictability : a CLIVAR perspective
    (American Meteorological Society, 2006-10-15) Hurrell, James W. ; Visbeck, Martin ; Busalacchi, Antonio J. ; Clarke, R. A. ; Delworth, T. L. ; Dickson, R. R. ; Johns, William E. ; Koltermann, K. P. ; Kushnir, Yochanan ; Marshall, David P. ; Mauritzen, Cecilie ; McCartney, Michael S. ; Piola, Alberto R. ; Reason, C. ; Reverdin, Gilles ; Schott, F. ; Sutton, R. ; Wainer, I. ; Wright, Daniel G.
    Three interrelated climate phenomena are at the center of the Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) Atlantic research: tropical Atlantic variability (TAV), the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC). These phenomena produce a myriad of impacts on society and the environment on seasonal, interannual, and longer time scales through variability manifest as coherent fluctuations in ocean and land temperature, rainfall, and extreme events. Improved understanding of this variability is essential for assessing the likely range of future climate fluctuations and the extent to which they may be predictable, as well as understanding the potential impact of human-induced climate change. CLIVAR is addressing these issues through prioritized and integrated plans for short-term and sustained observations, basin-scale reanalysis, and modeling and theoretical investigations of the coupled Atlantic climate system and its links to remote regions. In this paper, a brief review of the state of understanding of Atlantic climate variability and achievements to date is provided. Considerable discussion is given to future challenges related to building and sustaining observing systems, developing synthesis strategies to support understanding and attribution of observed change, understanding sources of predictability, and developing prediction systems in order to meet the scientific objectives of the CLIVAR Atlantic program.
  • Article
    Arctic Ocean warming contributes to reduced polar ice cap
    (American Meteorological Society, 2010-12) Polyakov, Igor V. ; Timokhov, Leonid A. ; Alexeev, Vladimir A. ; Bacon, Sheldon ; Dmitrenko, Igor A. ; Fortier, Louis ; Frolov, Ivan E. ; Gascard, Jean-Claude ; Hansen, Edmond ; Ivanov, Vladimir V. ; Laxon, Seymour W. ; Mauritzen, Cecilie ; Perovich, Donald K. ; Shimada, Koji ; Simmons, Harper L. ; Sokolov, Vladimir T. ; Steele, Michael ; Toole, John M.
    Analysis of modern and historical observations demonstrates that the temperature of the intermediate-depth (150–900 m) Atlantic water (AW) of the Arctic Ocean has increased in recent decades. The AW warming has been uneven in time; a local 1°C maximum was observed in the mid-1990s, followed by an intervening minimum and an additional warming that culminated in 2007 with temperatures higher than in the 1990s by 0.24°C. Relative to climatology from all data prior to 1999, the most extreme 2007 temperature anomalies of up to 1°C and higher were observed in the Eurasian and Makarov Basins. The AW warming was associated with a substantial (up to 75–90 m) shoaling of the upper AW boundary in the central Arctic Ocean and weakening of the Eurasian Basin upper-ocean stratification. Taken together, these observations suggest that the changes in the Eurasian Basin facilitated greater upward transfer of AW heat to the ocean surface layer. Available limited observations and results from a 1D ocean column model support this surmised upward spread of AW heat through the Eurasian Basin halocline. Experiments with a 3D coupled ice–ocean model in turn suggest a loss of 28–35 cm of ice thickness after 50 yr in response to the 0.5 W m−2 increase in AW ocean heat flux suggested by the 1D model. This amount of thinning is comparable to the 29 cm of ice thickness loss due to local atmospheric thermodynamic forcing estimated from observations of fast-ice thickness decline. The implication is that AW warming helped precondition the polar ice cap for the extreme ice loss observed in recent years.
  • Thesis
    A study of the large scale circulation and water mass formation in the Nordic seas and Arctic Ocean
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1993-10) Mauritzen, Cecilie
    In this thesis, production of dense water that feeds the dense overflows across the Greenland-Scotland Ridge has been considered. A new circulation scheme is developed which is consistent with the water masses, currents and air-sea fluxes in the region, and with the important observation that the dense overflows show little or no seasonal or interannual variability. An inverse box model has been constructed that shows that the new circulation scheme is consistent with conservation statements for mass, heat and salt as well. According to the new circulation scheme the major buoyancy is lost in the North Atlantic Current, which enters the Norwegian Sea between Iceland and Scotland, and flows northward towards the Arctic Ocean and the Barents Sea. The transformation is due to a large net annual heat loss over the North Atlantic Current, combined with a long residence time (2-3 years) and a large surface area. After subduction, one branch of the North Atlantic Current enters the Arctic Ocean, is modified in hydrographic properties into those associated with the Denmark Strait Overflow Waters in the western North Atlantic, exits the Arctic Ocean in the western Fram Strait and flows with the East Greenland Current towards the Denmark Strait Another branch of the North Atlantic Current recirculates directly in the Fram Strait and flows towards the Denmark Strait with the East Greenland Current This branch will not sink to the bottom of the North Atlantic as it is less compressible than the Arctic branch. The third branch of the North Atlantic Current enters the Barents Sea, continues to lose buoyancy, and enters the Arctic Ocean at intermediate depth. This branch exits the Arctic Ocean in the western Fram Strait, circulates around the Greenland Sea, enters the Norwegian Sea, and flows towards the Frer¢-Shetland Channel. The traditional view holds that the major sources of the dense overflows are the Iceland and Greenland gyres, west of the North Atlantic Current. Aside from the finding that the new circulation scheme is more likely in terms of water mass properties, currents etc., one fundamental problem with the old scheme lies with supplying a substantial overflow. There are indications that the production of dense water in the gyres is sensitive to the highly variable surface conditions and that indeed the production tends to shut on and off. The reservoirs in the gyres are so small that they would be drained within a few years if they were to supply the overflows during a shutdown period. Production of dense water within the North Atlantic Current is less sensitive to surface conditions. The density in the gyres is gained at a temperature around freezing, whereas in the North Atlantic Current the density is gained well above freezing. Therefore a freshwater anomaly in the two domains will have different consequences for vertical · overturning: within the North Atlantic Current the freshening can be overcome by further cooling, whereas in the gyres freezing will occur and the vertical overturning will cease. The observed lack of a significant seasonal signal associated with the dense overflows is consistent with the new circulations scheme. The net annual cooling dominates the seasonal oscillation in the atmospheric heat loss for time scales comparable with the residence time of the Atlantic Water within the domain. Thus winter formation of dense water within the North Atlantic Current does not induce a seasonal signal in the transport field of the dense water.