The roles of wind and sea ice in driving the deglacial change in the southern ocean upwelling: A modeling study

Gagan Mandal, Shih Yu Lee, Jia Yuh Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Southern Ocean (SO) played a fundamental role in the deglacial climate system by exchanging carbon-rich deep ocean water with the surface. The contribution of the SO’s physical mechanisms toward improving our understanding of SO upwelling’s dynamical changes is developing. Here, we investigated the simulated transient SO atmosphere, ocean, and sea ice evolution during the last deglaciation in a fully coupled Earth system model. Our results showed that decreases in SO upwelling followed the weakening of the Southern Hemisphere surface westerlies, wind stress forcing, and Antarctic sea ice coverage from the Last Glacial Maximum to the Heinrich Stadial 1 and the Younger Dryas. Our results support the idea that the SO upwelling is primarily driven by wind stress forcing. However, during the onset of the Holocene, SO upwelling increased while the strength of the wind stress decreased. The Antarctic sea ice change controlled the salt and freshwater fluxes, ocean density, and buoyancy flux, thereby influencing the SO’s dynamics. Our study highlighted the dynamic linkage of the Southern Hemisphere westerlies, ocean, and sea ice in the SO’s latitudes. Furthermore, it emphasized that zonal wind stress forcing and buoyancy forcing control by sea ice together regulate the change in the SO upwelling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number353
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Buoyancy forcing
  • Last deglaciation
  • Sea ice
  • Southern ocean
  • Upwelling
  • Wind stress

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