Do the North Atlantic winds drive the nonseasonal variability of the Arctic Ocean sea level?


  • Denis L. Volkov

    Corresponding author
    1. Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA
    2. NOAA, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Miami, Florida, USA
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The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites have observed coherent and nearly uniform nonseasonal fluctuations of bottom pressure throughout the Arctic Ocean and the Nordic Seas. Strong correlation between the nonseasonal GRACE and satellite altimetry data is found in the Nordic and Barents Seas, which suggests a possibility of using the longer altimetry records in these areas as a proxy for the nonseasonal sea level variability over the entire Arctic. This study identifies the dominant pattern of the nonseasonal atmospheric pressure variability that drives strong zonal wind anomalies over the northeastern North Atlantic associated with the nonseasonal sea level anomalies in the Nordic Seas. Our results show that wind-driven northward Ekman transport anomalies in the northeastern North Atlantic may induce coherent changes of sea level across the entire Arctic Ocean.