On Thin Ice: Role of Ocean Heat Flux in Sea Ice Melt (NICE)

The overall objective of NICE is to study the role of diapycnal mixing for the heat budget of the Arctic Ocean, the role of ocean heat flux in modulating the ice thickness and area, and the associated feedbacks.

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Project type

  • field work


  • oceanography

Project Keywords

  • cryosphere / sea ice / heat flux
  • oceans / ocean circulation / thermohaline circulation

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NICE received funding from the joint call issued by the programme Climate Change and Its Impacts in Norway (NORKLIMA), the new large-scale Climate Programme (KLIMAFORSK) and the Polar Research Programme (POLARPROG). Observations will be made in the marginal ice zone, over topographic features north of Svalbard as well as in the central Arctic, in conditions of retreating and advancing sea ice, allowing us to address various vertical mixing processes and evaluate their role in the overall heat budgets of the Arctic Ocean. Particular attention will be given to the role of i) near-inertial waves and induced mixing in various ice cover conditions, and ii) baroclinic tides and the associated velocity shear and turbulent mixing over topographic features.

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