GFI/BCCR Seminar | Tom Rossby: Partitioning the MOC in sub polar and Nordic Sea waters
Tom Rossby (University of Rhode Island)
Partitioning the MOC in sub polar and Nordic Sea waters
Two recently completed studies of velocity, temperature and salinity in the northeast Atlantic, one along a line between between Scotland and Cape Farewell (line 1) and the other along a composite line between Shetland, the Faroes, Iceland and the Greenland shelf 1200 km northeast of Cape Farewell (line 2) have given us accurate estimates of volume, heat and fresh water fluxes between Europe and Greenland. The heat fluxes across these two lines indicate that the heat flux towards the Nordic Seas is a factor 4 greater than towards the Labrador Sea. It is also known that the principal source of North Atlantic Deep Water is the overflow from the Nordic Seas with the Labrador Sea contributing to the lower branch of the MOC through entrainment. This suggests that the stability of the MOC is primarily governed by conditions in the Nordic Seas (including the Arctic), not the Labrador Sea.