Deep convection, or mixing, of ocean waters in the North Atlantic, widely thought to occur in only the Labrador Sea and the Mediterranean, may occur in a third location first proposed nearly 100 years ago by the explorer and oceanographer Fridtjof Nansen. The findings, reported this week in the journal Nature, may alter thinking about the oceans overturning circulation that affects earths climate.
An international team of scientists reports in Nature that convection, a process that forms deep waters of the worlds oceans and plays a major role in the climate system, may also be occurring in the Irminger Sea east of Greenland because of a sporadic and localized atmospheric phenomenon known as the Greenland tip jet.
Lead author Robert Pickart of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) says the study places an additional complexity to the climate puzzle that must now be taken into account in observations and models, and that the implications of an additional source of Labrador Sea Water are far-reaching.
Shelley Dawicki | WHOI
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