Freshwater exported from the Arctic Ocean through Fram Strait exerts a major influence on global climate by modulating deep water formation in the North Atlantic. Despite good observations of the freshwater outflow, the causes of variations in the volume of freshwater exported from the Arctic are not known. TRIMODAL will test hypotheses about how the large-scale atmospheric circulation influences the pathways freshwater takes though the Arctic Ocean and how the volume of freshwater exported though Fram Strait is affected. Warm Atlantic water recirculating north of Fram Strait releases heat into the Arctic before returning south. The extent and location of Atlantic water recirculation may be influenced by the atmosphere potentially affecting the amount of heat released in different regions. TRIMODAL uses a long-time series of biogeochemical tracer measurements to identify the sources of different watermasses in Fram Strait and compares variations in the contribution of each source with the circulation pathways predicted by model simulations under different atmospheric conditions.
Project manager: Paul A. Dodd
Project code: 802018