EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Recent Convection Decline in the Greenland Sea - insights from the Mercator Ocean System over 2008-2020

louise abot
louise abot
  • sorbonne université, LOCEAN, France (

We investigated wintertime convection evolution in the past two decades over the Greenland Sea. This area is a major location regarding dense water production and supply of the lower limb of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, a key component of the global climate.
Previous studies mentioned an increase in Greenland Sea wintertime convection intensity during the 2000s in comparison with the previous decade till the mid 2010s. Here, we further document the ongoing oceanic changes within the Greenland Sea using the Mercator Ocean Physical System, an operational ocean model with data-assimilation.
The model shows a large interannual variability, a later start and a decline of convection in the Greenland Sea in recent years. In particular, the depth of the annual maximum mixed layer diminished by 52 % between 2008/2014 and 2015/2020, from 1168 m to 559 m, over the convective area. There, hydrographic changes, especially a temperature increase, have led to isopycnal deepening and stratification strengthening at a larger rate in the north and east of the area (namely the Boreas Basin).
Atlantic Water spreading over the Boreas Basin and the eastern part of the Greenland Basin contributes to the changes of the Greenland Sea hydrography. The model also indicates a decrease in the intensity of the gyre in accordance with the isopycnal deepening while local surface winds and fluxes do not exhibit neither significant trends nor significant interannual variations.

How to cite: abot, L.: Recent Convection Decline in the Greenland Sea - insights from the Mercator Ocean System over 2008-2020, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-3170,, 2023.