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Modeling of the Beaufort ice–ocean climatology change

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A coupled ice–ocean model is used to study the sensitivity of the Beaufort Sea climatology to representation of sub-grid-scale eddies; to hypothetically not present and double Mackenzie River discharge; and to approximate climate warming specified through a surface air-temperature increase of 3°C. The eddy effect is considered in two ways: as eddy interaction with sea-floor topography yielding a driving force ("neptune" parameterization) and as eddy diffusion and viscosity. The model with neptune parameterization reproduces surface layer circulation, as well as the bathymetrically steered Beaufort Undercurrent, while the model with usual damping does not simulate the Beaufort Undercurrent. The absence of the strong boundary Beaufort Undercurrent affects the thermohaline structure of the Beaufort Sea which becomes less consistent with observational data. The increase of the Mackenzie River discharge causes more northward transport of sea ice, resulting in sea- ce thinning in Mackenzie Bay, while the absence of the Mackenzie River discharge induces southward sea-ice drift and sea-ice thickening in Mackenzie Bay. The sensitivity study of surface air-temperature warming shows a shrinkage of sea ice by 6% in area and 15% in volume, causing the freshening and warming of the surface ocean layer. The sensitivity studies of river discharge and surface air temperature use the neptune parameterization.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2001

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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