Causes and Consequences of the Beaufort Gyre Freshwater Storage Variability

Friday, 19 December 2014
Andrey Yu Proshutinsky1, Richard A Krishfield1, John Merrill Toole1, Mary-Louise E. Timmermans2, William James Williams3, Eddy C Carmack4, Fiona A. McLaughlin4, Koji Shimada5 and Daniel J Torres1, (1)WHOI, Woods Hole, MA, United States, (2)Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States, (3)Organization Not Listed, Washington, DC, United States, (4)Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney, BC, Canada, (5)Tokyo University of Mar. S&T, Tokyo, Japan
The Beaufort Gyre (BG) system is a unique circulation component within the Arctic physical environmental system reflecting a set of specific atmospheric,
sea-ice, and oceanic conditions that have significant interrelationships with the Arctic-wide as well as global climate systems. The BG, NSF funded observations have
documented that in 2003-2013 the BG region accumulated more than 5000 km3 of liquid freshwater (FW) relative to the climatology of the 1970s.
Recent results suggest that the BG system may be entering a period of FW release which would be expected from previous climatological behavior and has the potential to cause a Great Salinity Anomaly in the North Atlantic. However, it is unclear whether a "tipping point" has been exceeded beyond which the FW
will continue to accumulate and exceed anything observed in the past. The central idea of this presentation is to show how the BG system, with all its mechanisms
and feedbacks, influences processes of FW accumulation and release, and is influenced by Arctic climate variability.