Ocean currents and climate variability

About the project

We study the general oceanography of the seas around Iceland and the currents of the North Atlantic, investigating the effects of climate variability and oceanic conditions on biological resources. The Nordic Seas (Greenland, Iceland and Norwegian seas) is the main region where Atlantic water is transformed into a water mass that is dense enough to feed the North Atlantic deep water and the Iceland Sea is considered an important part of the North Atlantic climate system.

In the Nordic Seas, the East Greenland Current is a major pathway by which dense overflow water and Arctic-origin freshwater progresses from the Nordic Seas to the North Atlantic through the Denmark Strait. We study volume and freshwater transports in this area by using current profiles and salinity time series from a instrumented mooring array deployed between Iceland and Greenland north of the Denmark Strait. We also analyze the data with respect to volume and freshwater transport variability and their relation to atmospheric forcing.

Besides meteorological forcing, the conditioning for dense water mass formation depends on the spatially and temporally variable inflow, mixing, and outflow of different water masses, involving fresh and cold waters of Arctic origin and warm and saline Atlantic Water.

We have been following those processes for years and try to interpret those data in a climate perspective.


Steingrímur Jónsson, Professor (50% School of Business and Science, University of Akureyri/50%Fishery Science Centre), Iceland


University of Bergen, Norway
Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, MA, USA
Akvaplan-niva, Tromsø, Norway
Uni Research Climate, Bergen, Norway
Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway
Marine Research Institute, Reykjavik, Iceland