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Potential positive feedback between Greenland ice sheet melt and Baffin Bay heat content on the west Greenland shelf

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Greenland ice sheet meltwater runoff has been increasing in recent decades, especially in the southwest and the northeast. To determine the impact of this accelerating meltwater flux on Baffin Bay, we examine eight numerical experiments using an ocean-sea ice model: Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean. Enhanced runoff causes shoreward increasing sea surface height and strengthens the stratification in Baffin Bay. The changes in sea surface height reduces the southward transport through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and strengthens the gyre circulation within Baffin Bay. The latter leads to further freshening of surface waters as it produces a larger northward surface freshwater transport across Davis Strait. Increasing the meltwater runoff leads to a warming and shallowing of the west Greenland Irminger water on the northwest Greenland shelf. These warmer waters can now more easily enter fjords on the Greenland coast and thus provide additional heat to accelerate the melting of marine-terminating glaciers.

  • Date created
    2015
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3125QQ6R
  • License
    © 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • de la Guardia, L., Hu, X., and Myers, P. (2015). Potential positive feedback between Greenland ice sheet melt and Baffin Bay heat content on the west Greenland shelf. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(12), 4922-4930.
  • Link to related item
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2015gl064626