Projected West Antarctic Ocean Warming Caused by an Expansion of the Ross Gyre

We use United Kingdom Earth System Model simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6 to analyze the Ross Gyre (RG) dynamics during the historical 1850–2014 period and under two contrasting future climate-change scenarios. The modeled RG is relatively stable, with an extent and strength that agree with observations. The projections exhibit an eastward gyre expansion into the Amundsen-Bellingshausen Seas that starts during the 2040s. The associated cyclonic ocean circulation enhances the onshore transport of warm Circumpolar Deep Water into the inner regional shelf, a regime change that increases the local subsurface shelf temperatures by up to 1.2°C and is independent of future forcing scenario. The RG expansion is generated by a regional ocean surface stress curl intensification associated with anthropogenic sea ice loss. If realised in reality, such a warming would strongly influence the future stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.


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Authors: Gómez‐Valdivia, Felipe ORCIDORCID record for Felipe Gómez‐Valdivia, Holland, Paul ORCIDORCID record for Paul Holland, Siahaan, Antony, Dutrieux, Pierre ORCIDORCID record for Pierre Dutrieux, Young, Emma ORCIDORCID record for Emma Young

On this site: Antony Siahaan, Emma Young, Felipe Gomez Valdivia, Paul Holland, Pierre Dutrieux
28 March, 2023
Geophysical Research Letters / 50
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