Holte James W.

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Last Name
Holte
First Name
James W.
ORCID
0000-0002-3451-7572

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Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Article
    Arrival of new great salinity anomaly weakens convection in the Irminger Sea
    (American Geophysical Union, 2022-06-06) Biló, Tiago C. ; Straneo, Fiamma ; Holte, James W. ; Le Bras, Isabela A.
    The Subpolar North Atlantic is prone to recurrent extreme freshening events called Great Salinity Anomalies (GSAs). Here, we combine hydrographic ocean analyses and moored observations to document the arrival, spreading, and impacts of the most recent GSA in the Irminger Sea. This GSA is associated with a rapid freshening of the upper Irminger Sea between 2015 and 2020, culminating in annually averaged salinities as low as the freshest years of the 1990s and possibly since 1960. Upon the GSA propagation into the Irminger Sea over the Reykjanes Ridge, the boundary currents rapidly advected its signal around the basin within months while fresher waters slowly spread and accumulated into the interior. The anomalies in the interior freshened waters produced by deep convection during the 2017–2018 winter and actively contributed to the suppression of deep convection in the following two winters.
  • Article
    Mean conditions and seasonality of the West Greenland boundary current system near Cape Farewell
    (American Meteorological Society, 2020-09-18) Pacini, Astrid ; Pickart, Robert S. ; Bahr, Frank B. ; Torres, Daniel J. ; Ramsey, Andree L. ; Holte, James W. ; Karstensen, Johannes ; Oltmanns, Marilena ; Straneo, Fiamma ; Le Bras, Isabela Astiz ; Moore, G. W. K. ; de Jong, Marieke Femke
    The structure, transport, and seasonal variability of the West Greenland boundary current system near Cape Farewell are investigated using a high-resolution mooring array deployed from 2014 to 2018. The boundary current system is comprised of three components: the West Greenland Coastal Current, which advects cold and fresh Upper Polar Water (UPW); the West Greenland Current, which transports warm and salty Irminger Water (IW) along the upper slope and UPW at the surface; and the Deep Western Boundary Current, which advects dense overflow waters. Labrador Sea Water (LSW) is prevalent at the seaward side of the array within an offshore recirculation gyre and at the base of the West Greenland Current. The 4-yr mean transport of the full boundary current system is 31.1 ± 7.4 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1), with no clear seasonal signal. However, the individual water mass components exhibit seasonal cycles in hydrographic properties and transport. LSW penetrates the boundary current locally, through entrainment/mixing from the adjacent recirculation gyre, and also enters the current upstream in the Irminger Sea. IW is modified through air–sea interaction during winter along the length of its trajectory around the Irminger Sea, which converts some of the water to LSW. This, together with the seasonal increase in LSW entering the current, results in an anticorrelation in transport between these two water masses. The seasonality in UPW transport can be explained by remote wind forcing and subsequent adjustment via coastal trapped waves. Our results provide the first quantitatively robust observational description of the boundary current in the eastern Labrador Sea.
  • Article
    Slantwise convection in the Irminger Sea
    (American Geophysical Union, 2022-09-28) Le Bras, Isabela A.‐A. ; Callies, Jörn ; Straneo, Fiammetta ; Biló, Tiago C. ; Holte, James ; Johnson, Helen L.
    The subpolar North Atlantic is a site of significant carbon dioxide, oxygen, and heat exchange with the atmosphere. This exchange, which regulates transient climate change and prevents large‐scale hypoxia throughout the North Atlantic, is thought to be mediated by vertical mixing in the ocean's surface mixed layer. Here we present observational evidence that waters deeper than the conventionally defined mixed layer are affected directly by atmospheric forcing in this region. When northerly winds blow along the Irminger Sea's western boundary current, the Ekman response pushes denser water over lighter water, potentially triggering slantwise convection. We estimate that this down‐front wind forcing is four times stronger than air–sea heat flux buoyancy forcing and can mix waters to several times the conventionally defined mixed layer depth. Slantwise convection is not included in most large‐scale ocean models, which likely limits their ability to accurately represent subpolar water mass transformations and deep ocean ventilation.
  • Article
    Subpolar North Atlantic western boundary density anomalies and the Meridional Overturning Circulation
    (Nature Research, 2021-05-24) Li, Feili ; Lozier, M. Susan ; Bacon, Sheldon ; Bower, Amy S. ; Cunningham, Stuart A. ; de Jong, Marieke F. ; deYoung, Brad ; Fraser, Neil ; Fried, Nora ; Han, Guoqi ; Holliday, Naomi Penny ; Holte, James W. ; Houpert, Loïc ; Inall, Mark E. ; Johns, William E. ; Jones, Sam ; Johnson, Clare ; Karstensen, Johannes ; Le Bras, Isabela A. ; Lherminier, Pascale ; Lin, Xiaopei ; Mercier, Herlé ; Oltmanns, Marilena ; Pacini, Astrid ; Petit, Tillys ; Pickart, Robert S. ; Rayner, Darren ; Straneo, Fiamma ; Thierry, Virginie ; Visbeck, Martin ; Yashayaev, Igor ; Zhou, Chun
    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.
  • Article
    Export of ice sheet meltwater from Upernavik Fjord, West Greenland
    (American Meteorological Society, 2022-03-01) Muilwijk, Morven ; Straneo, Fiamma ; Slater, Donald A. ; Smedsrud, Lars H. ; Holte, James W. ; Wood, Michael ; Andresen, Camilla S. ; Harden, Benjamin E.
    Meltwater from Greenland is an important freshwater source for the North Atlantic Ocean, released into the ocean at the head of fjords in the form of runoff, submarine melt, and icebergs. The meltwater release gives rise to complex in-fjord transformations that result in its dilution through mixing with other water masses. The transformed waters, which contain the meltwater, are exported from the fjords as a new water mass Glacially Modified Water (GMW). Here we use summer hydrographic data collected from 2013 to 2019 in Upernavik, a major glacial fjord in northwest Greenland, to describe the water masses that flow into the fjord from the shelf and the exported GMWs. Using an optimum multi-parameter technique across multiple years we then show that GMW is composed of 57.8% ± 8.1% Atlantic Water (AW), 41.0% ± 8.3% Polar Water (PW), 1.0% ± 0.1% subglacial discharge, and 0.2% ± 0.2% submarine meltwater. We show that the GMW fractional composition cannot be described by buoyant plume theory alone since it includes lateral mixing within the upper layers of the fjord not accounted for by buoyant plume dynamics. Consistent with its composition, we find that changes in GMW properties reflect changes in the AW and PW source waters. Using the obtained dilution ratios, this study suggests that the exchange across the fjord mouth during summer is on the order of 50 mSv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1) (compared to a freshwater input of 0.5 mSv). This study provides a first-order parameterization for the exchange at the mouth of glacial fjords for large-scale ocean models.
  • Article
    Seasonality of the Meridional Overturning Circulation in the subpolar North Atlantic
    (Nature Research, 2023-05-25) Fu, Yao ; Lozier, M Susan ; Biló, Tiago Carrilho ; Bower, Amy S. ; Cunningham, Stuart A. ; Cyr, Frédéric ; de Jong, M. Femke ; deYoung, Brad ; Drysdale, Lewis ; Fraser, Neil ; Fried, Nora ; Furey, Heather H. ; Han, Guoqi ; Handmann, Patricia ; Holliday, N. Penny ; Holte, James ; Inall, Mark E. ; Johns, William E. ; Jones, Sam ; Karstensen, Johannes ; Li, Feili ; Pacini, Astrid ; Pickart, Robert S. ; Rayner, Darren ; Straneo, Fiammetta ; Yashayaev, Igor
    Understanding the variability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is essential for better predictions of our changing climate. Here we present an updated time series (August 2014 to June 2020) from the Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program. The 6-year time series allows us to observe the seasonality of the subpolar overturning and meridional heat and freshwater transports. The overturning peaks in late spring and reaches a minimum in early winter, with a peak-to-trough range of 9.0 Sv. The overturning seasonal timing can be explained by winter transformation and the export of dense water, modulated by a seasonally varying Ekman transport. Furthermore, over 55% of the total meridional freshwater transport variability can be explained by its seasonality, largely owing to overturning dynamics. Our results provide the first observational analysis of seasonality in the subpolar North Atlantic overturning and highlight its important contribution to the total overturning variability observed to date.