Hydrographic conditions off West Greenland in 2011

Short overview of the atmospheric and hydrographic conditions off West Greenland in autumn 2011 is presented. Large scale atmospheric circulation is described in terms of the North Atlantic Oscillation Index, which was negative in 2011 (-1.57). This led to a positive air temperature anomaly over the study region. Mean air temperature at Nuuk Weather Station was -1.13°C, which shows, after the highest ever reported temperature had occurred in 2010, a decrease towards the temperature level of 2009. The water mass properties are monitored yearly at two standard NAFO/ICES sections, which span across the western shelf and the continental slope of Greenland. Two stations, namely Cape Desolation Station 3 and Fyllas Bank station 4 are historically used to analyze the interannual variability of the oceanic conditions. The uppermost layer of the Cape Desolation Station 3 in 2011 was occupied by relative fresh Surface Polar Water in contrast to the previous two years when no Polar Water was observed there. The water temperature between 100 and 700 m depth was warmer than its longterm mean, and thus continued the series of ‘warmer than normal’ years started in 1998. Fyllas Bank Station 4 was characterized in 2011 by a negative potential temperature anomaly within the uppermost 50 to 100 m and a positive temperature anomaly between 100 and 700 meter water depth. The salinity of Irminger Sea Water here was slightly above its long term mean



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