Heat loss of the Norwegian Atlantic Current toward the Arctic

By Kjell Arne Mork and Johan Blindheim
Institute of Marine Research

Hydrographic data from three standard sections (Svinøy, Gimsøy and Sørkapp) in the Norwegian Sea together with a simple analytic model are used to investigate the heat loss of the Norwegian Atlantic Current toward the Arctic. The sections include data from 1978 to 2000. Time series of summer temperatures in the Atlantic core for all three sections show a linear increasing trend while the salinity shows a decreasing trend. The most prominent trend is in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea. The area in the Svinøy section occupied by Atlantic water has decreased during the same period, but show a similar rising temperature trend. Summer heat contents in the Svinøy and Gimsøy sections show however no prominent trend from 1979 to 2000. Results from the analytic model show that the lateral mixing process and the ocean-atmosphere heat flux in the Norwegian Atlantic Current are of same order. The model also indicates a propagation speed of 3.2 cm/s.

Status: submitted (November 2001).
NOClim contact: Kjell Arne Mork