Heat and freshwater budgets of the Nordic seas computed from atmospheric reanalysis and ocean observations
Article first published online: 3 NOV 2011
Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans (1978–2012)
Volume 116, Issue C11, November 2011
How to Cite
2011), Heat and freshwater budgets of the Nordic seas computed from atmospheric reanalysis and ocean observations, J. Geophys. Res., 116, C11003, doi:10.1029/2011JC006939., , and (
- Issue published online: 3 NOV 2011
- Article first published online: 3 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 AUG 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 22 JUL 2011
- Manuscript Received: 5 JAN 2011
- Nordic seas;
- freshwater budget;
- heat budget
 The heat and freshwater budgets of the Nordic seas are computed from atmospheric reanalysis data and ocean observations, mainly taken during the period 1990–1999. The total heat loss is 198 TW and the freshwater gain 52 mSv (1 Sv = 106 m3 s−1), with residuals equal to 1 TW and 3 mSv, respectively. Budgets are also computed for three subregions within the Nordic seas: the Norwegian Sea, the Barents Sea and the Greenland/Iceland Sea. Without accounting for transfer of heat and freshwater across the Arctic Front, which separates the Greenland/Iceland Sea from the Norwegian Sea, the residuals of the heat and freshwater budgets range from −36 TW to 34 TW and from −16 mSv to 19 mSv, respectively. To close the budgets of all subregions cross-frontal fluxes of −35 TW and 17 mSv, caused either by eddy shedding along the Arctic Front or ocean currents not accounted for, must be included. Combined with observations of the average temperature and salinity on both sides of the Arctic Front these values indicate a rate of cross-frontal water exchange of approximately 4 Sv. The most intense water mass modifications occur in the Norwegian Sea, where ocean heat loss and freshwater input are equal to 119 TW and 41 mSv, respectively.