I just learnt that Svenja Ryan’s paper (with the exceptionally prolonged title?) “Exceptionally Warm and Prolonged Flow of Warm Deep Water toward the Filchner‐Ronne Ice Shelf in 2017” (GRL) was highlighted in Science as “Editor’s choice“! The editor gets some of the details wrong – but still, how cool isn’t that? Congratulations Svenja! I’m so proud to be a co-author!
In the highlighted paper we present the latest data from the southern Weddell Sea (including temperature time-series from one of my LoTUS-buoys that I tell about here), which reveal that 2017 was a special year. The seasonal inflow of warm water that we typically observe to flood the continental shelf during summer was warmer and longer than normal, and we suggest that the anomalous conditions are linked to a fresh anomaly developing upstream as a consequence of high summer sea ice melt. The presented mooring records end early 2018 – showing that the shelf density then was lower than normal, potentially leaving the “door open” for an earlier than normal onset of next year’s inflow.
Hopefully Polarstern (and I!) make it back to the Weddell Sea this winter (despite Corona) to recover the moorings deployed in 2018, so that we can tell the rest of the story and learn more about the implications of freshwater anomalies.