Upper-ocean hydrography of the Nordic Seas during the International Polar Year (2007-2008) as observed by instrumented seals and Argo floats
Following indications of recent warming trends in the Nordic Seas, we have studied the hydrography of these marginal seas from the summer of 2007 until the fall of 2008, using observations gathered by instrumented seals and Argo floats. The combined dataset shows that the upper ocean was indeed both warmer and saltier over much of the Nordic Seas in 2007-2008 compared to the average ocean state for the period 1956-2006 (based on the World Ocean Atlas 2009). There are also indications that the surface Polar Waters of the East Greenland Current were colder and fresher than the climatology, though the quality of the climatology is questionable for this region given the low number of historical observations. Dynamic height calculations suggest that the observed hydrographic changes were associated with enhanced northward upper-ocean thermal wind transport in the east and possibly also enhanced southward transport in the west.