Arctic Climate Change

Volume 43 of the series Atmospheric and Oceanographic Sciences Library pp 117-198


Observations in the Ocean

  • Bert RudelsAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, University of HelsinkiFinnish Meteorological Institute Email author 
  • , Leif AndersonAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, University of Gothenburg
  • , Patrick ErikssonAffiliated withFinnish Meteorological Institute
  • , Eberhard FahrbachAffiliated withAlfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research
  • , Martin JakobssonAffiliated withDepartment of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University
  • , E. Peter JonesAffiliated withDepartment of Fisheries and Oceans, Bedford Institute of Oceanography
  • , Humfrey MellingAffiliated withInstitute of Ocean Sciences, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • , Simon PrinsenbergAffiliated withDepartment of Fisheries and Oceans, Bedford Institute of Oceanography
  • , Ursula SchauerAffiliated withAlfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research

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The chapter begins with an overview of the exploratory work done in the Arctic Ocean from the mid nineteenth century to 1980, when its main features became known and a systematic study of the Arctic Ocean evolved. The following section concentrates on the decade between 1980 and 1990, when the first scientific icebreaker expeditions penetrated into the Arctic Ocean, when large international programme were launched, and the understanding of the circulation and of the processes active in the Arctic Ocean deepened. The main third section deals with the studies and the advances made during the ACSYS decade. The section has three headings: the circulation and the transformation of water masses; the changes that have been observed in the Arctic Ocean, especially during the last decades; and the transports between the Arctic Ocean and the surrounding world ocean through the different passages, Fram Strait, Barents Sea, Bering Strait and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. In section four, the Arctic Ocean is considered as a part of the Arctic Mediterranean Sea, and the impacts of possible climatic changes on the circulation in the Arctic Mediterranean and on the exchanges with the world ocean are discussed.


Arctic Ocean Arctic Mediterranean Sea Ocean Circulation Water mass formation Water mass transformation Mixing Open ocean convection Thermohaline circulation Boundary convection Intrusions Double-diffusive convection