Fram Strait ice flux calculations and associated Arctic ice conditions
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The areal outflow of ice through Fram Strait during the period 1953–1984 is estimated on a monthly basis from the geostrophic wind and the ice concentration. Summer ice coverage in various sectors of the Arctic is then compared with the computed outflow through Fram Strait in various antecedent periods. Lag correlations indicate that interannual variations of summer ice severity in the Pacific side of the Arctic Basin are consistent with fluctuations of Fram Strait outflow during the previous 3–9 months. The findlings suggest that above-normal outflow of multiyear ice during the winter/spring months may precondition the large-scale pack ice to respond more directly to offshore flow events during the ensuing months.
The areas of highest correlation with Fram Strait outflow undergo a pronounced shift in the early 1970's. Coincident changes in the large-scale circulation pattern imply that the source region of the Transpolar Drift Stream shifted westward from the Alaskan to the Siberian waters during this period.
KeywordsGeostrophic Wind Arctic Basin Pacific Side Offshore Flow Transpolar Drift
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