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Allenstown Elementary School, Washington, United States

Iwasaki S.,Research Institute for Applied Mechanics | Lien R.-C.,Applied Physics LaboratoryUniversity of WashingtonSeattle
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans | Year: 2016

The response of the subpolar front in the Sea of Japan (also known as the East Sea) to winter cyclones is investigated based on quantitative analyses of gridded and satellite data sets. Cyclone passages affecting the sea are detected using time series of spatially averaged surface turbulent heat fluxes. As the cyclones develop, there are strong cold-air outbreaks that produce twice the normal heat loss over the sea. After removal of sea surface temperature (SST) seasonal trends, we found that cyclone passage (hence, cooling) mainly occurred over 3 days, with maximum SST reduction of -0.4°C. The greatest reduction was found along the subpolar front, where frontal sharpness (i.e., SST gradient) increased by 0.1°C (100 km)-1. Results of a mixed-layer model were consistent with both temperature and frontal sharpness, and localized surface cooling along the subpolar front resulted from both horizontal heat advection and turbulent heat fluxes at the sea surface. Further analyses show that this localized cooling from horizontal heat advection is caused by the cross-frontal Ekman flow (vertically averaged over the mixed layer) and strong northwesterly winds associated with the cold-air outbreak during cyclone passage. © 2016. American Geophysical Union.

Ding Y.,University of Maryland College Park | Carton J.A.,University of Maryland College Park | Chepurin G.A.,University of Maryland College Park | Steele M.,Applied Physics LaboratoryUniversity of WashingtonSeattle | Hakkinen S.,NASA
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans | Year: 2016

This study examines the processes governing the seasonal response of the Arctic Ocean and sea ice to surface forcings as they appear in historical simulations of 14 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 coupled climate models. In both models and observations, the seasonal heat budget is dominated by a local balance between net surface heating and storage in the heat content of the ocean and in melting/freezing of sea ice. Observations suggest ocean heat storage is more important than sea ice melt, while in most of these models, sea ice melt dominates. Seasonal horizontal heat flux divergence driven by the seasonal cycle of volume transport is only important locally. In models and observations, the dominant terms in the basin-average seasonal freshwater budget are the storages of freshwater between the ocean and sea ice, and the exchange between the two. The largest external source term is continental discharge in early summer, which is an order of magnitude smaller. The appearance of sea ice (extent and volume) and also ocean stratification in both the heat and freshwater budgets provides two links between the budgets and provides two mechanisms for feedback. One consequence of such an interaction is the fact that models with strong/weak seasonal surface heating also have strong/weak seasonal haline and temperature stratification. © 2016. American Geophysical Union.

Nishino S.,Research and Development Center for Global ChangeJapan Agency for Marine Earth Science and TechnologyYokosuka Japan | Kawaguchi Y.,Applied Physics LaboratoryUniversity of WashingtonSeattle | Inoue J.,Japan National Institute of Polar Research | Fujiwara A.,National Institute of Polar ResearchTachikawa Japan | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans | Year: 2015

A fixed-point observation station was set up in the northern Chukchi Sea during autumn 2013, and for about 2 weeks conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD)/water samplings (6 h) and microstructure turbulence measurements (2 to 3 times a day) were performed. This enabled us to estimate vertical nutrient fluxes and the impact of different types of turbulent mixing on biological activity. There have been no such fixed-point observations in this region, where incoming low-salinity water from the Pacific Ocean, river water, and sea-ice meltwater promote a strong pycnocline (halocline) that stabilizes the water column. Previous studies have suggested that because of the strong pycnocline, wind-induced ocean mixing could not change the stratification to impact biological activity. However, the present study indicates that a combined effect of an uplifted pycnocline accompanied by wind-induced inertial motion and turbulent mixing caused by intense gale-force winds (>10 m s-1) did result in increases in upward nutrient fluxes, primary productivity, and phytoplankton biomass, particularly large phytoplankton such as diatoms. Convective mixing associated with internal waves around the pycnocline also increased the upward nutrient fluxes and might have an impact on biological activity there. For diatom production at the fixed-point observation station, it was essential that silicate was supplied from a subsurface silicate maximum, a new feature that we identified during autumn in the northern Chukchi Sea. Water mass distributions obtained from wide-area observations suggest that the subsurface silicate maximum water was possibly derived from the ventilated halocline in the Canada Basin. © 2015. American Geophysical Union.

Light B.,Applied Physics LaboratoryUniversity of WashingtonSeattle | Dickinson S.,Applied Physics LaboratoryUniversity of WashingtonSeattle | Perovich D.K.,Cold Regions Research and Engineering LaboratoryHanover | Holland M.M.,U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research
Journal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans | Year: 2015

The albedo of Arctic sea ice is calculated from summertime output of twentieth century Community Climate System Model v.4 (CCSM4) simulations. This is compared with an empirical record based on the generalized observations of the summer albedo progression along with melt onset dates determined from remote sensing. Only the contributions to albedo from ice, snow, and ponds are analyzed; fractional ice area is not considered in this assessment. Key factors dictating summer albedo evolution are the timing and extent of ponding and accumulation of snow. The CCSM4 summer sea ice albedo decline was found, on average, to be less pronounced than either the empirical record or the CLARA-SAL satellite record. The modeled ice albedo does not go as low as the empirical record, nor does the low summer albedo last as long. In the model, certain summers were found to retain snow on sea ice, thus inhibiting ice surface melt and the formation or retention of melt ponds. These "frozen" summers were generally not the summers with the largest spring snow accumulation, but were instead summers that received at least trace snowfall in June or July. When these frozen summers are omitted from the comparison, the model and empirical records are in much better agreement. This suggests that the representation of summer Arctic snowfall events and/or their influence on the sea ice conditions are not well represented in CCSM4 integrations, providing a target for future model development work. © 2014. American Geophysical Union.

Light B.,Applied Physics LaboratoryUniversity of WashingtonSeattle | Carns R.C.,Applied Physics LaboratoryUniversity of WashingtonSeattle
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans | Year: 2016

The ice-albedo feedback mechanism likely contributed to global glaciation during the Snowball Earth events of the Neoproterozoic era (1 Ga to 544 Ma). This feedback results from the albedo contrast between sea ice and open ocean. Little is known about the optical properties of some of the possible surface types that may have been present, including sea ice that is both snow-free and cold enough for salts to precipitate within brine inclusions. A proxy surface for such ice was grown in a freezer laboratory using the single salt NaCl and kept below the eutectic temperature (-21.2°C) of the NaCl-H2O binary system. The resulting ice cover was composed of ice and precipitated hydrohalite crystals (NaCl · 2H2O). As the cold ice sublimated, a thin lag-deposit of salt formed on the surface. To hasten its growth in the laboratory, the deposit was augmented by addition of a salt-enriched surface crust. Measurements of the spectral albedo of this surface were carried out over 90 days as the hydrohalite crust thickened due to sublimation of ice, and subsequently over several hours as the crust warmed and dissolved, finally resulting in a surface with puddled liquid brine. The all-wave solar albedo of the subeutectic crust is 0.93 (in contrast to 0.83 for fresh snow and 0.67 for melting bare sea ice). Incorporation of these processes into a climate model of Snowball Earth will result in a positive salt-albedo feedback operating between -21°C and -36°C. © 2016. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

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