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Impact of a newly identified mechanism: pathways for Arctic freshwater in the subpolar North Atlantic Ocean

Project Description

Project Rationale:
Variable seawater properties and flows in the upper 1000 m of the eastern subpolar North Atlantic are a primary control of the strength of the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) and the associated transport of heat that is so important for the UK and global climate (Lozier et al., 2019). A new mechanism has been identified that determines the upper ocean density; the redistribution of Arctic freshwater from west to east across the subpolar North Atlantic, driven by year to year changes in winds (Holliday et al., 2019). With changing Arctic sea ice cover and the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, the potential for Arctic freshwater to impact large-scale ocean circulation is a highly relevent.

The identification of a new mechanism raises new questions about the significance of wind forcing in determining the fate of Arctic freshwater. This project will address key questions of how freshwater impacts the large scale ocean circulation (MOC and gyre) through changes in density.

Funding Notes

You can apply for fully-funded studentships (stipend and fees) from INSPIRE if you:
Are a UK or EU national.
Have no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK.
Have been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the project.

Please click View Website for more information on eligibilty and how to apply


Holliday, N.P., et al., 2019. Wind-driven Ocean Circulation changes cause the largest freshening event for 120 years in the subpolar North Atlantic, in revision at Nature Communications
Lozier, M.S., et al., 2019. A sea change in our view of overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program. Science 01 Feb 2019:Vol. 363, Issue 6426, pp. 516-521 DOI: 10.1126/science.aau6592

How good is research at University of Southampton in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 68.62

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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