Simulated North Atlantic-Nordic Seas water mass exchanges in an isopycnic coordinate OGCM

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Nilsen, Jan Even Øie ; Gao, Yongqi ; Drange, Helge ; Furevik, Tore ; Bentsen, Mats (2003)

The variability in the volume exchanges between the North Atlantic and the Nordic Seas during the last 50 years is investigated using a synoptic forced, global version of the Miami Isopycnic Coordinate Ocean Model (MICOM). The simulated volume fluxes agree with the existing observations. The net volume flux across the Faroe-Shetland Channel (FSC) is positively correlated with the net flux through the Denmark Strait (DS; R = 0.74 for 3 years low pass filtering), but negatively correlated with the net flux across the Iceland-Faroe Ridge (IFR; R = -0.80). For the Atlantic inflow across the FSC and IFR, the correlation is R = -0.59. For the transports through the FSC and DS, the simulation suggests that an atmospheric pattern resembling the North Atlantic Oscillation is the main driving force for the variations, involving Ekman fluxes and barotropic adjustment. The model also shows a 0.7 Sv reduction of the Atlantic inflow to the Nordic Seas since the late 50's
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