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Weddell Sea control of ocean temperature variability on the western Antarctic Peninsula
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  • Adele K. Morrison,
  • Matthew H. England,
  • Andrew McC. Hogg,
  • Andrew E. Kiss
Adele K. Morrison
Australian National University

Corresponding Author:adele.morrison@anu.edu.au

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Matthew H. England
University of New South Wales
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Andrew McC. Hogg
Australian National University
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Andrew E. Kiss
The Australian National University
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Abstract

Recent ice loss on the western Antarctic Peninsula has been driven by warming ocean waters on the continental shelf. However, due to the short observational record, our understanding of the dynamics and variability in this region remains poor. High-resolution ocean model simulations show that the temperature variability along the western Antarctic Peninsula is controlled by the rate of dense water formation in the Weddell Sea. Passive tracer advection reveals connectivity between the Weddell Sea and the coastline of the western Antarctic Peninsula and Bellingshausen Sea. During multi-year periods of weak Weddell dense water formation, dense overflow transport in the Weddell Sea decreases, while the transport of cold water around the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula strengthens, driving a temperature decrease of 0.4oC along the western Antarctic Peninsula. This mechanism implies that western Antarctic Peninsula coastal ocean temperature may cool in the future if Weddell Dense Shelf Water production slows down.
27 Jan 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
09 Feb 2023Published in ESS Open Archive