Russian researchers have discovered the influence of thermal effects from the depths of the Arctic Ocean on the acceleration of ice melting in the Atlantic Arctic (Barents, Kara Sea and the adjacent part of the Arctic basin) in winter. The new data will improve the accuracy of forecasts of climate change in the region, Vladimir Ivanov, a leading researcher at the Faculty of Geography at the Lomonosov Moscow State University, told TASS on Saturday.
The authors performed mathematical calculations using new data from satellite monitoring systems, assessing the reduction in the area and volume of ice in the Nansen basin of the Arctic Ocean over the past 20 years.
“The analysis made it possible to establish that the contribution of the vertical convective heat flux from the depths of the ocean to the upper 100-meter layer in the winter season is decisive in the process of ice cover reduction in the winter season. waters at this time of the year. We assume that the mechanism of such an effect is vertical thermohaline convection - oppositely directed vertical movements of water under the influence of gravitational forces, "Ivanov told TASS.
Scientists believe that the influx of warm water from temperate latitudes forms the vertical structure of the waters in the ocean in such a way that in the upper 300-meter layer, the temperature and salinity increase with depth. At the same time, due to the cooling of water in the winter season, the surface layer of the ocean becomes "heavier", which contributes to the development of vertical movement of water under the influence of gravitational forces.
"The deep penetration of convection in the Atlantic Arctic is essentially an anomaly caused by the reduction in area and thickness of ice due to global warming. In" normal "climatic conditions, deep penetration of convection is blocked by the presence of a thick, cohesive ice sheet. in the winter season, they destabilize the stable regime of energy exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere, which most likely already affects the frequency of weather anomalies and natural hazards in Europe and the European territory of Russia. However, this issue requires further study, "the researcher also explained.
Over the past decades, scientists have noted an annual reduction in the area of ice in the Atlantic Arctic. In particular, in the Barents Sea, these losses in the winter season are 2-4% annually, said a representative of Moscow State University. Melting ice, in addition to influencing the climate, poses a threat to the marine living organisms inhabiting them, some of which may disappear.