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Original Research Papers

Effects of remote and local atmospheric forcing on circulation and upwelling in the Baltic Sea

Authors:

A. Lehmann ,

Institute of Marine Research, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, DE
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W. Krauss,

Institute of Marine Research, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, DE
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H.-H. Hinrichsen

Institute of Marine Research, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, DE
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Abstract

Due to the ephemeral nature of the atmospheric conditions over the Baltic Sea, the flow fieldis highly variable, and thus, changes in the resulting circulation and upwelling are difficult to observe. However, three-dimensional models, forced by realistic atmospheric conditions and river runoff, have reached such a state of accuracy that the highly fluctuating current field and the associated evolution of the temperature and salinity field can be described. In this work, effects of remote and local atmospheric forcing on circulation and upwelling in the Baltic Sea are investigated. Changes in the characteristics of the large-scale atmospheric wind field overthe central and eastern North Atlantic can be described by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The NAO is related to the strength and geographical position of weather systems as they cross the North Atlantic and thus has a direct impact on the climate in Europe. To relate the local wind field over the Baltic Sea to the large-scale atmospheric circulation, we defined a Baltic Sea Index (BSI), which is the difference of normalised sea level pressures between Osloin Norway and Szczecin in Poland. The NAO is significantly related to the BSI. Furthermore, the BSI is highly correlated with the storage variation of the Baltic Sea and the volume exchange through the Danish Sounds. Based on three-dimensional model calculations, it is shown that different phases of the NAO during winter result in major changes of horizontal transports in the deep basins of the Baltic Sea and in upwelling along the coasts as well as in the interior of the basins. During NAO+ phases, strong Ekman currents are produced with increased up-and downwelling along the coasts and associated coastal jets, whereas during NAO- phases, Ekmandrift and upwelling are strongly reduced, and the flow field can almost entirely be described by the barotropic stream function. The general nature of the mean circulation in the deep basins of the Baltic Sea, obtained from a 10-yr model run, can be described by the depth integrated vorticity balance derived from the transport equation for variable depth.

How to Cite: Lehmann, A., Krauss, W. and Hinrichsen, H.-H., 2002. Effects of remote and local atmospheric forcing on circulation and upwelling in the Baltic Sea. Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography, 54(3), pp.299–316. DOI: http://doi.org/10.3402/tellusa.v54i3.12138
  Published on 01 Jan 2002
 Accepted on 4 Dec 2001            Submitted on 5 Feb 2001

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