Wilson, C., Aksenov, Y., Rynders, S., Kelly, S. J., Krumpen, T., & Coward, A. C. (2021). Significant variability of structure and predictability of Arctic Ocean surface pathways affects basin-wide connectivity. Communications Earth & Environment, 2(1), 164. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-021-00237-0
The Arctic Ocean is of central importance for the global climate and ecosystem. It is a region undergoing rapid climate change, with a dramatic decrease in sea ice cover over recent decades. Surface pathways connect the transport of nutrients, freshwater, carbon and contaminants with their sources and sinks. Pathways of drifting material are deformed, due to atmosphere-ocean-ice coupling. Deformation is largest at fine space- and time-scales and is associated with a loss of potential predictability, analogous to weather often becoming unpredictable. However, neither satellite observations nor climate model projections resolve fine-scale processes responsible for this. The authors of this study used a high-resolution ocean model to determine these fine scale physical processes and transport pathways and their interannual variability.