Recent changes in the Greenland–Scotland overflow-derived water transport inferred from hydrographic observations in the southern Irminger Sea



[1] Recent decadal changes (1955–2007) in the baroclinic transport (TBC) of the Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC) carrying the Greenland–Scotland overflow-derived waters along the East Greenland slope are quantified from a set of hydrographic sections in vicinity of Cape Farewell. The updated historical record of TBC shows clear decadal variability (±2–2.5 Sv) with the transport minima in the 1950s and mid-1990s, maximum in the early 1980s and moderate-to-high transport in the 2000s. Since the mid-1990s, the DWBC TBC has increased by ∼2 Sv (significant at the 99.9% level), which constitute ∼20% of the mean absolute transport (9.0 Sv) as obtained from three cruises in 2002–2006. The DWBC TBC anomalies negatively correlate (R = –0.80) with thickness anomalies of the Labrador Sea Water (LSW) at its origin implying a close association, albeit not necessarily causative, between the DWBC transport east of Greenland and the LSW production.