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Fresh water and its role in the Arctic Marine System: sources, disposition, storage, export, and physical and biogeochemical consequences in the Arctic and global oceans

Fresh water and its role in the Arctic Marine System: sources, disposition, storage, export, and physical and biogeochemical consequences in the Arctic and global oceans
Fresh water and its role in the Arctic Marine System: sources, disposition, storage, export, and physical and biogeochemical consequences in the Arctic and global oceans
The Arctic Ocean is a fundamental node in the global hydrological cycle and the ocean's thermohaline circulation. We here assess the system's key functions and processes: (1) the delivery of fresh and low-salinity waters to the Arctic Ocean by river inflow, net precipitation, distillation during the freeze/thaw cycle, and Pacific Ocean inflows; (2) the disposition (e.g., sources, pathways, and storage) of freshwater components within the Arctic Ocean; and (3) the release and export of freshwater components into the bordering convective domains of the North Atlantic. We then examine physical, chemical, or biological processes which are influenced or constrained by the local quantities and geochemical qualities of freshwater; these include stratification and vertical mixing, ocean heat flux, nutrient supply, primary production, ocean acidification, and biogeochemical cycling. Internal to the Arctic the joint effects of sea ice decline and hydrological cycle intensification have strengthened coupling between the ocean and the atmosphere (e.g., wind and ice drift stresses, solar radiation, and heat and moisture exchange), the bordering drainage basins (e.g., river discharge, sediment transport, and erosion), and terrestrial ecosystems (e.g., Arctic greening, dissolved and particulate carbon loading, and altered phenology of biotic components). External to the Arctic freshwater export acts as both a constraint to and a necessary ingredient for deep convection in the bordering subarctic gyres and thus affects the global thermohaline circulation. Geochemical fingerprints attained within the Arctic Ocean are likewise exported into the neighboring subarctic systems and beyond. Finally, we discuss observed and modeled functions and changes in this system on seasonal, annual, and decadal time scales and discuss mechanisms that link the marine system to atmospheric, terrestrial, and cryospheric systems.
Arctic, oceans, circulation, freshwater, carbon cycle, acidification
675-717
Carmack, E.
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Yamamoto-Kawai, M.
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Haine, T.
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Bacon, S.
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Bluhm, B.
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Lique, C.
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Melling, H.
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Polyakov, I.
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Straneo, F.
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Timmermans, M.-L.
db3fa8d2-2b82-408b-aeaf-8d953ff02480
Williams, W.
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Carmack, E.
3c654a55-b246-46e9-b5ed-5538b9b23d36
Yamamoto-Kawai, M.
623ad0eb-ccd7-4526-af64-859550023a79
Haine, T.
f12f243a-d8b9-4006-bd09-a84b48f56b65
Bacon, S.
1e7aa6e3-4fb4-4230-8ba7-90837304a9a7
Bluhm, B.
6f02368a-7755-4306-8a78-af3027a8ca1e
Lique, C.
9a6813af-05b0-4a6a-815e-777afb24acfd
Melling, H.
efbb7271-f60f-44dd-a508-895f3aad2387
Polyakov, I.
431abc37-74bf-4660-a663-4398d05a9b32
Straneo, F.
025f7b0c-2d8f-48a7-9d1d-148a947b903c
Timmermans, M.-L.
db3fa8d2-2b82-408b-aeaf-8d953ff02480
Williams, W.
35cc0979-e4c5-4438-a7bb-10d1fd5653d0

Carmack, E., Yamamoto-Kawai, M., Haine, T., Bacon, S., Bluhm, B., Lique, C., Melling, H., Polyakov, I., Straneo, F., Timmermans, M.-L. and Williams, W. (2016) Fresh water and its role in the Arctic Marine System: sources, disposition, storage, export, and physical and biogeochemical consequences in the Arctic and global oceans. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 121 (3), 675-717. (doi:10.1002/2015JG003140).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The Arctic Ocean is a fundamental node in the global hydrological cycle and the ocean's thermohaline circulation. We here assess the system's key functions and processes: (1) the delivery of fresh and low-salinity waters to the Arctic Ocean by river inflow, net precipitation, distillation during the freeze/thaw cycle, and Pacific Ocean inflows; (2) the disposition (e.g., sources, pathways, and storage) of freshwater components within the Arctic Ocean; and (3) the release and export of freshwater components into the bordering convective domains of the North Atlantic. We then examine physical, chemical, or biological processes which are influenced or constrained by the local quantities and geochemical qualities of freshwater; these include stratification and vertical mixing, ocean heat flux, nutrient supply, primary production, ocean acidification, and biogeochemical cycling. Internal to the Arctic the joint effects of sea ice decline and hydrological cycle intensification have strengthened coupling between the ocean and the atmosphere (e.g., wind and ice drift stresses, solar radiation, and heat and moisture exchange), the bordering drainage basins (e.g., river discharge, sediment transport, and erosion), and terrestrial ecosystems (e.g., Arctic greening, dissolved and particulate carbon loading, and altered phenology of biotic components). External to the Arctic freshwater export acts as both a constraint to and a necessary ingredient for deep convection in the bordering subarctic gyres and thus affects the global thermohaline circulation. Geochemical fingerprints attained within the Arctic Ocean are likewise exported into the neighboring subarctic systems and beyond. Finally, we discuss observed and modeled functions and changes in this system on seasonal, annual, and decadal time scales and discuss mechanisms that link the marine system to atmospheric, terrestrial, and cryospheric systems.

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Accepted/In Press date: 1 October 2015
Published date: 30 March 2016
Keywords: Arctic, oceans, circulation, freshwater, carbon cycle, acidification
Organisations: Marine Physics and Ocean Climate

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Local EPrints ID: 391018
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/391018
PURE UUID: 70e0a845-eb8a-4f61-9467-b1617083fb1c

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Date deposited: 05 Apr 2016 16:12
Last modified: 14 Aug 2019 18:23

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Contributors

Author: E. Carmack
Author: M. Yamamoto-Kawai
Author: T. Haine
Author: S. Bacon
Author: B. Bluhm
Author: C. Lique
Author: H. Melling
Author: I. Polyakov
Author: F. Straneo
Author: M.-L. Timmermans
Author: W. Williams

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