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Noon seminar - How chilly were the last 10,000 years in the eastern Fram Strait?

Monday, November 26, 2012, 12:00AM - 1:00PM


Kirstin Werner

Leibniz Institute for Marine Sciences, IFM-GEOMAR


ARC room 620

Full title: "How chilly were the last 10,000 years in the eastern Fram Strait? Or: What marine sediments can tell us about Atlantic Water advection and Arctic sea ice variations in the good old days"

Warm and salty Atlantic Water masses enter the Arctic via its only deepwater passage, the Fram Strait between Spitsbergen and Greenland, also referred to as the Arctic Gateway. The northward advection of warm Atlantic Water keeps the eastern Fram Strait ice-free all year and strongly controls the Arctic Ocean’s heat budget. Recent oceanographic observations have shown a significant increase in the Atlantic Water influx through eastern Fram Strait, simultaneous to the decline of Arctic sea ice since the late 1970s. In this talk, we will look into variations of Atlantic heat flux to the Arctic Ocean since the last ca 10,000 years (the Holocene), as derived from high-resolution multiproxy studies in the eastern Fram Strait. We will discuss how Atlantic Water strengthening may have influenced past relocations of the sea ice margin in the Western Svalbard area and constrain the potential and restrictions of certain proxy indicators. A comparison of Holocene sea ice variability between eastern and western Arctic will open up the discussion on the role of Atlantic Water inflow for the Arctic Ocean sea ice extent.