Sea-Ice interaction with the thermohaline circulation

Jiayan Yang and J. David Neelin
Geophys. Res. Lett., 1993.

Abstract. Linkages have been suggested between observed interdecadal variability of sea-ice and salinity in the North Atlantic. A plausible mechanism for generating such variability through the interaction of sea-ice and the thermohaline circulation (THC) is examined in a zonally-averaged THC model coupled to a thermodynamic ice model. A self-sustaining interdecadal oscillation arises through the feedbacks between salinity anomalies induced by the sea-ice melting-freezing process and anomalous meridional heat transport associated with the THC. The oscillation time scale is not associated with any oceanic time scales but fundamentally depends on ice-THC coupling. The period is quite robust to stochastic forcing, although the regularity is strongly affected.

Citation. Yang, J.-Y., and J. D. Neelin, 1993: Sea-ice interactions with the thermohaline circulation. Geophys. Res. Lett., 20, 217-220

Acknowledgements. This work was supported by the U. S. NOAA Postdoctoral Program in Climate and Global Change and by a NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award.