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The Nordic Seas in the global climate system


The three-year (2004-2006) research project "The Nordic Seas in the global climate system" is cooperation between three INTAS members from Norway, Germany and United Kingdom, and five NIS members from Russia and Ukraine. The overall scientific objective of the research is to develop, validate and implement state-of-art key ocean-atmosphere and ice datasets and models to study the past, present and future climate changes in the Nordic Seas with focus on understanding the nature of exchanges with North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean. The project will be a coordinated combination of observational data analysis and modelling efforts, taking advantage of a new generation of numerical modelling tools. The specific objectives, are to 1) capture all available key ocean, atmosphere and sea ice observations from 1900-2000, to perform quality control on this datasets, and to produce monthly, seasonal and annual climatologies and define temporal-spatial climate anomalies 2) reconstruct consistent, century-long atmospheric forcing fields for 1900- 1960 by regression technique, and to evaluate the reconstructed forcing fields with NCEP/ERA40 re-analyses for the period 1948-1960, 3) To identify the temporal-spatial structure of dynamic and thermodynamic variability modes for the time period 1900-2000, and to identify propagating and locally forced modes, 4) perform low, medium and high-resolution coupled ocean-sea ice model integrations, 5) To perform scenario integrations for the 21st century with a coupled global atmosphere-sea ice-ocean model to assess how the system may change as a result of global warming, 6) explore the observed and simulated fields addressing the overall objective to study the role and importance of the thermohaline and wind driven circulation modes in the Nordic Seas, the associated exchanges with the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, and the coupling to the AMOC.

Observational data analyses and modelling will be applied including compilation of oceanographic and meteorological databases with addition from investigations in the Nordic Seas by EC countries in 1990s covering the period of drastic increase of AW inflow to the Arctic Ocean and release of PW and ice to the Nordic Seas against the background of global warming trends; software developing for database management; calculation of representative parameters, which characterise influence of vertical mixing and water exchange on water masses state; statistical analysis of relationship between water masses properties in different areas and external factors; preparation of data arrays for numerical simulations and developing of hypotheses to be tested in model runs, simulation of ice-water exchange between the Atlantic and Arctic Ocean and the Nordic Seas by means of coupled sea ice - ocean circulation numerical models, model-derived estimates of the penetration of the AW into the Nordic Seas and Arctic Ocean under extreme values of AW inflow parameters (volume transport, temperature, salinity).

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Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC)


Edv.Gregsvei 3a
N-5059 Bergen


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Participants (7)

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Alfred Wegener Institute Foundation for Polar and Marine Research (AWI)


Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI)


Institute of Mathematical Machine and System Problems, (IMMSP)


Murmansk Marine Biological Institute (MMBI)


Nansen International Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NIERSC)



United Kingdom

Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory (VMGO)


Project information

Grant agreement ID: INTAS 2003-51-4620

  • Start date

    1 April 2004

  • End date

    31 March 2007

Funded under:


Coordinated by:

Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC)