Winter convection in the Irminger Sea in 2004–2014
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Winter convection in the Irminger Sea leading to the formation of Labrador Sea Water (LSW) is analyzed using CTD data collected along the 59.5° N transatlantic section in 2004–2014, winter Argo data from 2012–2014, and daily North American regional reanalysis (NARR). The interannual variability of LSW in the Irminger Sea is investigated. The dissolved oxygen saturation rate of 93% is used to indicate maximal local convection depth. It is shown that the deepest convection (up to 1000 m) resulting in the largest LSW volume that formed in the Irminger Sea in 2008 and 2012. These years were characterized by numerous storms with anomalously strong turbulent heat loss from the ocean to the atmosphere and negative air temperature to the east of the southern tip of Greenland in January–March. LSW became warmer by 0.42°C, saltier by more than 0.03 PSU, and more oxygenated by 8 µmol/kg between 2004 and 2014. A strong LSW decay in the Iceland Basin is also noted.
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