A long-term circulation and water mass monitoring program for the Arctic Ocean



Substantial changes have occurred in the Arctic over the last few decades. These changes are linked with the variability of external climate system in ways not yet fully understood. Unresolved issues concerning the driving processes and mechanisms behind these changes in the Arctic environment require further investigation.

A major constraint on our ability to understand linkages between the Arctic Ocean and the global climate system is the scarcity of observational data. We have thus initiated efforts to establish a long-term, mooring-based observational system in the Eurasian and Canadian basins of the Arctic Ocean. A number of regional monitoring programs have elucidated local details of the circulation, but none has provided the large-scale coverage proposed here (Figure l). The widely spaced array of moorings discussed here will emphasize the largest-scale modes of variability over relevant time scales.