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Arctic Transitions: The Beaufort Gyre’s Diffusive Staircase

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ADIW03 - Climate Applications of Layering

Co-Author: Mary-Louise Timmermans Diffusive staircases in the Arctic Ocean are structures that consist of mixed layers separated by thin interfaces in temperature and salinity. These staircases are prevalent in the Arctic and can occur when warm and salty water underlies cooler, fresher water. In this talk, I will focus on staircases in a particular region of the western Arctic Ocean, known as the Beaufort Gyre. Staircase layer thicknesses exhibit distinct differences across the Gyre, with a jump from thinner layers in the western Gyre to thicker layers on the eastern side. We will discuss how this sharp transition may be linked to a warm water influx into the Gyre and subsequent propagation across the region. The results may be of interest for interpreting how staircases may change under Arctic warming. 

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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