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Seminar: Monday, February 27, 2024

Dr. Foukal smiles into the camera for a headshot. The top of his blue grid button up is just visible.
Dr. Nicholas Foukal
Department of Physical Oceanography
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Dr. Nicholas Foukal is an Assistant Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the Department of Physical Oceanography. Below you will find an abstract for his lecture. 

Title: Origins, pathways, connectivity, and fate of the fresh coastal circulation around Greenland


Abstract: The coastal circulation around Greenland transports enough fresh water to significantly alter the North Atlantic circulation including the climate-relevant Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). But the fate of this fresh water remains unknown. If mixed offshore into the boundary currents or basin interior, it could stratify the subpolar North Atlantic, inhibit water mass transformation and convection, and slow the AMOC. In this talk, I will present recent results from moorings, surface drifters, satellites, and numerical model output from the region to determine the origins, pathways, connectivity, and fate of fresh water in the coastal circulation around Greenland. Our results indicate that much of the fresh water in the coastal circulation is sourced from the Arctic through Fram Strait, and the majority of this polar water mass is retained on the shelf all the way around the southern tip of Greenland. As the water migrates northward on the West Greenland Shelf, it begins to mix offshore into the Labrador Sea, where it can influence deep water formation. Though this is the mean state, intermittent strong wind events such as tip jets around the southern tip of Greenland play an outsized role in shelf-basin exchange around southern Greenland.


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