Estimation of Surface Heat/Salt Fluxes Associated with Sea Ice Growth/Melt in the Southern Ocean

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    • Tamura Takeshi
    • Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, University of Tasmania
    • Nihashi Sohey
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tomakomai National College of Technology


The sinking of dense water in the polar oceans plays a key role in global thermohaline circulation, leading to heat and material exchange between the atmosphere and deep ocean. This study provides the first surface heat and salt flux dataset for the Southern Ocean (including a treatment of sea ice growth and melt), based on heat flux calculations and satellite-derived sea ice data. The geographical distribution of annual net heat (salt) flux shows a distinct contrast: significant cooling of (salt release into) the ocean occurs in the coastal region, and net heating of (freshwater release into) the ocean occurs in the offshore region. The work tries a quantitative representation of heat and freshwater transport by sea ice formed in the coastal region to offshore. Since hemispheric-scale heat and salt fluxes associated with sea ice growth and melt have not been estimated from observations to date, the present dataset will provide new information with which to validate coupled ice-ocean models while providing important boundary conditions for the various models.


  • SOLA

    SOLA (7), 17-20, 2011

    Meteorological Society of Japan


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