Simulation of oceanic volume transports through Fram Strait 1995–2005
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We discuss the model representation of volume transports through one of the most climate-relevant ocean passages, the Fram Strait. We compare results from a coupled ocean–sea ice model with different resolutions (∼1/12° and ∼1/4°) and measurements from a mooring array along 79° N. The 1/4° model delivers a realistic mean climate state and realistic net volume transports. However, this model fails to reproduce the observed intense barotropic recirculation that reaches far north in Fram Strait. This recirculation is captured in the higher resolution version of the model. Other differences exist in the circulation over the East Greenland Shelf and in the temperature of Atlantic waters in the Fram Strait region as well as in surface heat fluxes. We find that a combination of high-resolution model results and long-term measurements can improve the interpretation of measured and simulated processes and reduce the uncertainties in exchange rates between Arctic and the North Atlantic.