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macfly

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Gulf Stream stall
« on: May 07, 2017, 08:01:59 PM »
I wondered if the board members here could help me discover if there is there a number or a calculation of the sea ice loss that you are aware of that will result in the stalling of the thermo-inclines at the Nansen and Amundsen Basins?

I am aware that there is also a theory that the melt water from the Greenland Ice Sheet may also be the primary cause of the stalling of the Gulf Stream.

I would love to get the clearest understanding of the individual and combined danger of these two events.

Thanks so much in advance.

mati

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2017, 05:51:44 PM »
I remember reading about this one which was a "big" pulse of fresh water:
http://www.livescience.com/31810-big-freeze-flood.html

but im not sure what effect the gradual freshening from the greenland ice sheet will have...
and so it goes

FishOutofWater

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 03:16:46 AM »
The global thermohaline circulation is very complicated. Different parts of the global system do not move in concert. Over decades things average out.

A huge amount of melt water is stored in the Beaufort gyre so if it suddenly dumped a third of its fresh water the overturning in the Labrador sea could be slowed down and that could impact the Gulf stream.

Over the past year the Florida current branch of the Gulf Stream has been flowing a normal to above normal rate except for several weeks following the passage of hurricane Matthew.


F.Tnioli

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2017, 04:16:43 PM »
I wondered if the board members here could help me discover if there is there a number or a calculation of the sea ice loss that you are aware of that will result in the stalling of the thermo-inclines at the Nansen and Amundsen Basins?

I am aware that there is also a theory that the melt water from the Greenland Ice Sheet may also be the primary cause of the stalling of the Gulf Stream.

I would love to get the clearest understanding of the individual and combined danger of these two events.

Thanks so much in advance.
I think that even if such calculations exist, they would be extremely imprecise due to complexity of things involved and general insufficience of modern coupled models capability to predict on such a large scale and into rather far future.

What can be done and is indeed being done is analysis of things which already happened. Like this one, for example.

What i'm pretty sure about is that we won't have "stalling" as such. Instead, i think that we'll have it changed, and indeed massively changed by some time 2040 or so (and onwards). Where, how and how-much it'll be happening by then - is one darn difficult question, though.

Of course, such "change" may well spell much doom for particular regions and nations. Still, note how "global warming" was much more used term until researchers got relatively better understanding of climate, after which "climate change" began to be used much more often instead. Same thing is to happen on this subject also, i suspect.
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wili

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2017, 05:57:27 AM »


Loss of Arctic sea ice impacting Atlantic Ocean water circulation system


https://news.yale.edu/2017/07/31/loss-arctic-sea-ice-impacting-atlantic-ocean-water-circulation-system

Quote
“Conventional thinking has been that if ocean circulation weakens, reducing the transport of heat from low to high latitudes, then it should lead to sea ice growth. But we have found another, overlooked, mechanism by which sea ice actively affects AMOC on multi-decadal time scales,” said professor Alexey Fedorov, climate scientist at the Yale Department of Geology and Geophysics and co-author of a study detailing the findings in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Earlier this year, a different Yale-led study cautioned that the AMOC system was not as stable as previously thought. That study said the possibility of a collapsed AMOC under global warming conditions is being significantly underestimated.

“We’ve now found this new connection between sea ice and AMOC,” Liu said. “Sea ice loss is clearly important among the mechanisms that could potentially contribute to AMOC collapse.”

The researchers based their findings on a combination of comprehensive climate model simulations and novel computations of the sensitivity of ocean circulation to fluctuations in temperature and salinity at the ocean’s surface over time.

“In our experiments we saw a potential loss of 30% to 50% of AMOC’s strength due to Arctic sea ice loss. That is a significant amount, and it would accelerate the collapse of AMOC if it were to occur,” Fedorov said.

In the short-term, changes in the subpolar North Atlantic have the greatest impact on AMOC, the researchers found; but over the course of multiple decades, it was changes in the Arctic that became most important to AMOC, they said.

thnx to mlparish at robertscribbler's blog for this
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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2017, 10:29:44 AM »
I think the basins will continue being topped up by warmer waters from the south as the cooler lighter layers go south, through CAA. The Gulf stream imho is a residual of the tidal cycle which will continue to cycle whatever water is present, whether thats from the Gulf or, seasonally, Arctic waters from Baffin/Greenland.

SteveMDFP

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2017, 12:50:36 PM »
I think the basins will continue being topped up by warmer waters from the south as the cooler lighter layers go south, through CAA. The Gulf stream imho is a residual of the tidal cycle which will continue to cycle whatever water is present, whether thats from the Gulf or, seasonally, Arctic waters from Baffin/Greenland.


It's a pretty graphic, but I don't think it makes physical  sense to say that tidal forces can permanently create sea water circulation, with surface waters moving towards the poles and deep waters moving towards the equator.  It takes massive amounts of energy to force the world's oceans to circulate in observed patterns, and the tidal forces from gravitatioal effects don't seem to be adequate.

The conventional model is that ocean circulation is a heat engine effect.  Solar energy warms surface waters at the equator, and polar water cools and sinks, creating a kind of down-hill gradient for surface waters to move poleward.

Much of the tendency for polar waters to sink derives from ice formation, with brine exclusion causing cold, salty water to sink.  It makes more sense to see the Gulf Stream poleward directional flow as being driven strongly by the total volume of annual ice formation in the arctic.

When the arctic is perennially ice-free, there will be much less heat engine efficiency in moving Atlantic circulation.  This is a negative feedback mechanism that will tend to retard the final disappearance of winter ice.

Edit:
I found the above graphic at:
https://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/EarthSC102Notes/102TheOceans.HTM

It indicates that the graphic relates to vertical (tidal) motion, not bulk horizontal motion.  A separate section describes ocean circulation.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 02:28:52 PM by SteveMDFP »

gerontocrat

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2017, 12:59:28 PM »
More of a question than a statement....
And on the other hand, CO2 concentrations up, heat retention up, more energy into the oceans, plus   less summer sea ice meaning more open water meaning more energy captured by the oceans. i.e. the efficiency of the heat engine declines but the amount of energy available to drive it increases ?

Anyone got a few supercomputers and hydraulic maths geniuses lying around doing nothing to spare ?
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binntho

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2017, 01:46:43 PM »
Seem to remember a rather good article that divided the forces driving the Gulf Stream into three more-or-less equivalent forces:

1) Subduction in the northern end due to cooling.
2) Surface winds driving the sea towards the North-East
3) Tidal effects, particularly coupled with the Mid-Atlantic ridge, where the tide lifts a certain amount of water over the ridge every time.

But it´s been many years since I read this article, so perhaps my memory is way off, and the article itself may have been totally off track.
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oren

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2017, 02:07:12 PM »
This probably belongs in the stupid questions thread, but with the reduction in sea ice cover during the summer comes additional refreezing in the winter, so why should the engine (cold briny water sinking) stall?

Dharma Rupa

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2017, 02:44:50 PM »
All a nice theory, but the evidence so far is that the Western Boundary Currents (e.g. Gulf Stream) have shifted poleward over the years.  Just ask the lobster fishermen and the fishermen on the Grand Banks.

SteveMDFP

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2017, 02:55:45 PM »
This probably belongs in the stupid questions thread, but with the reduction in sea ice cover during the summer comes additional refreezing in the winter, so why should the engine (cold briny water sinking) stall?

Quite right.  That's why I said *perenially* ice free.  I.e., little winter ice formation, perhaps a century from now.

Total annual volume of new ice formation is essentially equal to total annual volume of melting.  I think it may make intuitive sense that as the ice pack has thinned over decades, there may currently be more annual ice formation than 50 years ago, which would tend, I think, to support a stronger pole-ward flow of the Gulf Stream.  But that's just my intuition, not actual science.

Ice Shieldz

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2017, 06:13:57 PM »
Yes this makes sense - especially when one considers that young ice builds quicker and therefore has a greater net effect in driving AMOC then a bunch of multi-year ice more slowly building on itself.

jdallen

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2017, 12:39:36 AM »
I'm still not convinced of the "slowdown" hypothesis.

Annual flow of it into the Arctic is greater that the total winter ice volume by a factor of 20.  I have a hard time believing brine expulsion is the primary driver of that.  Even without that, even at higher temperatures, thermal contraction will provide a huge amount of energy to drive the current.
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Ice Shieldz

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2017, 05:58:09 AM »
Assuming air temps are cooler than the water/ice below it, wouldn't thermal contraction also be greater in water that is ice-free or that has thinner ice - which provides less insulation to the air above it?

Feeltheburn

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2017, 01:36:52 AM »
I remember reading about this one which was a "big" pulse of fresh water:
http://www.livescience.com/31810-big-freeze-flood.html

but im not sure what effect the gradual freshening from the greenland ice sheet will have...

I imagine that more fresh water in the arctic sea would promote more freezing in the winter since fresher water freezes at a higher temperature that saltier water. This is one example of the self-regulating internal thermometer of the earth that prevents extreme movements in climate. Similar to increased temperature from greenhouse gases causing more evaporation of water, which has a slight cooling effect in and of itself (latent heat of vaporization), and a major cooling effect when clouds reflect sunlight back into space.
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2019, 10:17:21 PM »

NotaDenier

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2020, 04:53:38 PM »

Glen Koehler

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2020, 01:33:32 AM »
https://phys.org/news/2020-02-arctic-ice-ocean-currents.html
    Nice link NotaDenier.  In addition to the phys.org summary, while the source article is quite technical and over my level, it was worth looking at to get a sense of how dramatically the Beaufort Sea energy flows have changed.  Also, the related 2018 article linked at bottom of the phys.org article also provides good context to understand why this matters.

Less ice = more wind impact on Beaufort Gyre = faster spin = weaker halocline and thus more warm water & ice interaction. 

   Reading that stuff gave me extra appreciation for the significance of
 gerontocrat's post showing recent arrival of ice free days in the Beaufort Sea
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2348.msg247559.html#msg247559

   
    While not described in the articles, all that has me wondering if a stronger gyre also brings more Central Arctic ice into the Beaufort Sea which is now warm enough to melt it.  Thus what used to be the Beaufort ice Nursery could be emerging as the Beaufort Bakery.  This is compounded by the incremental thinning and thus structural weakening and increased mobility of the ice pack overall. 

    I'm just arm waving of course, but this is the kind of scenario that allows for the end game of Arctic sea ice decline to proceed at an accelerated pace when certain structural/functional thresholds are breached.
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uniquorn

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2021, 08:30:54 PM »
Quote
In the Atlantic Ocean, Subtle Shifts Hint at Dramatic Dangers
The warming atmosphere is causing an arm of the powerful Gulf Stream to weaken, some scientists fear.

By MOISES VELASQUEZ-MANOFF
and JEREMY WHITE

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/03/02/climate/atlantic-ocean-climate-change.html

COLD BLOB alert ;)

Interesting article with a lot of moving images.

Concluding comments:
Quote
Dr. Broecker’s old schematics of the AMOC posit a neat warm current flowing north along the western edge of the Atlantic and an equally neat cold current flowing back south below it. In fact, says Dr. Lozier, that deeper current is not confined to the western edge of the Atlantic, but rather flows southward via a number of “rivers” that are filled with eddies. The network of deep ocean currents is much more complicated than once envisioned, in other words, and figuring out how buoyant meltwater from Greenland might affect the formation of cold deepwater has become more complicated as well.

This is the place scientists currently find themselves in. They suspect the AMOC can work like a climate switch. They’re watching it closely. Some argue that it’s already changing, others that it’s too soon to tell.

“There’s no consensus on whether it has slowed to date, or if it’s currently slowing,” said Dr. Lozier. “But there is a consensus that if we continue to warm the atmosphere, it will slow.”
« Last Edit: March 04, 2021, 08:39:59 PM by uniquorn »

binntho

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2021, 05:57:45 AM »
A very colorful article indeed! But rather inconclusive, the hype may be good for garnering clicks but the science is still in conclave, with no white smoke as yet.

Quote
But most studies on the AMOC don’t measure the “conveyor belt” directly. Instead, they use proxies to infer that the overturning has changed.

Such inference can be problematic when considering changes that occur over short time frames  ...  “There are other ways to explain [the cold blob],” [Dr. Lozier] said. “A lot of our conceptual understanding of AMOC is in isolation of other things going on in the ocean.”

Quote
Direct measurement of the AMOC only began relatively recently. A line of sensors ... called Rapid,  [and] a second sensor array, ..  called Osnap, went live in 2014.

Neither project has operated long enough to produce clear trends, in Dr. Lozier’s view. What they have shown, though, is lots of natural variability. In 2009 and 2010, for example, the AMOC weakened — “people were like, ‘Oh my God, this is happening,’” she said — only to pick right back up again over the following years.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2021, 10:57:07 PM »
Oceanographers Reveal Links Between Migrating Gulf Stream and Warming Ocean Waters
https://phys.org/news/2021-04-oceanographers-reveal-links-migrating-gulf.html



The Northwest Atlantic Shelf is one of the fastest-changing regions in the global ocean, and is currently experiencing marine heat waves, altered fisheries and a surge in sea level rise along the North American east coast. A new paper, "Changes in the Gulf Stream preceded rapid warming of the Northwest Atlantic Shelf," published in Communications Earth & Environment by recent URI Graduate School of Oceanography graduate Afonso Gonçalves Neto reveals the causes, potential predictability and historical context for these types of rapid changes.

"We used satellite data to show that when the Gulf Stream migrates closer to the underwater plateau known as the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, as it did after 2008, it blocks the southwestward transport of the Labrador Current that would otherwise provide cold, fresh, oxygen-rich water to the North American shelf," said lead author Gonçalves Neto. This mechanism explains why the most recent decade has been the hottest on record at the edge of the Northeast United States and Canada, as the delivery system of cold water to the region got choked off by the presence of the Gulf Stream.


Schematic of the circulation in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean and the water column average temperature difference between the period 2009–2018 and 2001–2007.

... The Grand Banks of Newfoundland is hardly a stranger to attention. It was near this feature that an iceberg sank the R.M.S. Titanic, one impetus for creation of the International Ice Patrol. The Ice Patrol has been collecting oceanographic data in this region for over a century, allowing the URI team to put recent satellite observations in a much longer-term context. Though the 2008 shift at the edge of the Grand Banks created warmer and saltier conditions than ever recorded since 1930, there was a similar shift in the 1970s relative to the decades preceding it. Thus, the circulation change directly observed by satellites might have had a precedent about 50 years ago.

"We still don't know what caused the abrupt shift of the circulation near the Grand Banks inferred in the 1970s and observed in 2008, or whether this is the new normal for the circulation and the temperatures of the northeast shelf," said Palter. "There are modeling studies that suggest that a slowdown of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation can cause the types of changes we observed, but the connection remains to be made in the observational record."


Sea surface height shift at the Tail of the Grand Banks in 2008.

Afonso Gonçalves Neto et al, Changes in the Gulf Stream preceded rapid warming of the Northwest Atlantic Shelf, Communications Earth & Environment (2021).
https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-021-00143-5
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binntho

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2021, 06:49:35 AM »
Interesting. Doest his mean that the "cold blob" results from the Gulf Stream diverting the Labrador stream? And the "Gulf Stream stall" off the North-West coast is simply the results of a stronger, more vigourous Gulf Stream pushing the Labrador Stream out of its way?
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El Cid

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2021, 08:12:01 AM »
Interesting. Doest his mean that the "cold blob" results from the Gulf Stream diverting the Labrador stream? And the "Gulf Stream stall" off the North-West coast is simply the results of a stronger, more vigourous Gulf Stream pushing the Labrador Stream out of its way?

WOW! That is a very interesting thought. And seems to me a logical conclusion

FishOutofWater

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2021, 06:01:31 AM »
The north wall of the Gulf Stream has moved north, cutting off the Labrador current at intermediate levels. The fresh water has been diverted eastward. Moreover, convection has increased in the Greenland sea. The net result may be a slight slowing of the AMOC according to some reports but because there are different metrics of the AMOC strength, different research groups reach somewhat different conclusions.

There's also a recent report that eddies on the north wall of the Gulf Stream are a significant and increasing component of the AMOC.

Despite many metrics of the AMOC showing decline the heat content of the upper 700 meters of tropical and subtropical north Atlantic ocean has been increasing for decades. See Leviticus et al. on NOAA's web site showing the heat content and salinity of the global oceans.

https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/global-ocean-heat-content/bin/avtfig2.pl?navigationM=mt_20202020_07-09_forward_77

binntho

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2021, 06:56:50 AM »
...See Leviticus et al. ...

In the Vulgate or the Seputagint?

Edit: Fund it in King James', although what fins and scales has to do with the price of fish ...
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FishOutofWater

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2021, 09:36:35 PM »
Sorry about the misspelling. I meant to write Levitus. I'm torn between correcting my mistake and leaving it because of the accidental humor. What ever, the 2009 -2010 Gulf Stream slowdown had a profound impact on the SST patterns in the North Atlantic and it caused a surge in sea level on the shores of Virginia and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. There was a strong build up of tropical Atlantic heat while the subtropics and temperate zone cooled in the north Atlantic.

We are not seeing that this year. There has been a strong northwards transport of ocean heat over the past 6 months. This year's hurricane season will be significantly down in storm numbers from last season. On the other hand, additional ocean heat will be available for transport into the areas that affect Arctic sea ice.

morganism

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2021, 12:33:20 AM »
https://sciencebulletin.org/record-high-arctic-freshwater-will-flow-to-labrador-sea-affecting-local-and-global-oceans/

The volume of freshwater now in the Beaufort Sea is about twice the size of the case studied, at more than 23,300 cubic kilometers, or more than 5,500 cubic miles. This volume of freshwater released into the North Atlantic could have significant effects. The exact impact is unknown. The study focused on past events, and current research is looking at where today’s freshwater buildup might end up and what changes it could trigger.

“A freshwater release of this size into the subpolar North Atlantic could impact a critical circulation pattern, called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, which has a significant influence on Northern Hemisphere climate,”

Their experiment showed that most of the freshwater reached the Labrador Sea through the Canadian Archipelago, a complex set of narrow passages between Canada and Greenland. This region is poorly studied and was thought to be less important for freshwater flow than the much wider Fram Strait, which connects to the Northern European seas.

Glen Koehler

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2021, 12:50:12 AM »
https://sciencebulletin.org/record-high-arctic-freshwater-will-flow-to-labrador-sea-affecting-local-and-global-oceans/

The volume of freshwater now in the Beaufort Sea is about twice the size of the case studied, at more than 23,300 cubic kilometers, or more than 5,500 cubic miles. This volume of freshwater released into the North Atlantic could have significant effects. The exact impact is unknown. The study focused on past events, and current research is looking at where today’s freshwater buildup might end up and what changes it could trigger.

“A freshwater release of this size into the subpolar North Atlantic could impact a critical circulation pattern, called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, which has a significant influence on Northern Hemisphere climate,”

Their experiment showed that most of the freshwater reached the Labrador Sea through the Canadian Archipelago, a complex set of narrow passages between Canada and Greenland. This region is poorly studied and was thought to be less important for freshwater flow than the much wider Fram Strait, which connects to the Northern European seas.
     Which makes me wonder if increased freshwater content in the Beaufort acts as a negative feedback on ASI decline because freshwater freezes at a higher temperature than salty water, thus allowing the Beaufort to retain ice volume.  Might the current higher than normal portion of ASI volume being located in the Beaufort be in part due to freshening of the Beaufort? 
“What is at stake. Everything...I would say."  Julienne Stroeve

FishOutofWater

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2021, 01:40:40 AM »
The Beaufort gyre contains both fresh water and heat stored in relatively fresh water in subsurface layers. It's complicated and hard to estimate the effect on sea ice, but in the past few decades, on average, the effects of stored heat have been more important than the effects of lower salinity.

Sebastian Jones

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Re: Gulf Stream stall
« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2021, 03:44:27 AM »
The Beaufort gyre contains both fresh water and heat stored in relatively fresh water in subsurface layers. It's complicated and hard to estimate the effect on sea ice, but in the past few decades, on average, the effects of stored heat have been more important than the effects of lower salinity.
ASLR is wont to warn about the effect of periodic pulses of fresh water issuing from the Beaufort Gyre- I wonder if it has built up enough fresh water (and heat) that an irruption is imminent? Could this event, should it take place, affect this summer's melting season?