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The Arctic Halocline

International Arctic Research Center  ·  University of Alaska Fairbanks

The Nansen and Amundsen Basins Observational System (NABOS) is an international research program that has been monitoring the state of the Arctic Ocean continuously for the past 20 years. 
 
In 2004, scientists observed the start of a decades-long warming trend in the eastern Arctic Ocean. A gradient of salty to fresh water known as the Arctic halocline blocks the heat carried by the Atlantic water layer from reaching the sea ice. The stability of the Arctic halocline is weakening. As it destabilizes it releases the heat contained in the Atlantic layer to the bottom of the sea ice. This heat is enough to melt the Arctic sea ice cover several times over. 

- 2022 -