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Science Meetings

Role of Continental Discharge in Ocean and Climate Dynamics Through Influence on Ocean Salinity
Chandanpurkar, H.A., Yeager, S.G., Reager, J.T., and Famiglietti, J.S. (24-Feb-16)

Because of the challenges with traditional means of measuring discharge globally, effect of continental freshwater forcing on regional and global ocean processes remains highly uncertain. In this work, we provide regional analyses of discharge plumes of major river systems identified in Aquarius/SAC-D and SMOS SSS observations after removing the ocean evaporation minus precipitation (E-P) signal. To better understand the discharge-SSS relationship at basin scale, we compare corresponding changes in salinity with associated river discharge time series estimated using basin-scale atmospheric moisture budget analysis using the current generation reanalysis datasets and GRACE land water storage change fields. We further provide ensemble simulations of ocean-sea ice model forced with varying continental runoff forcing and analyze changes in SSS, sea surface temperature, mixed layer depth, barrier layer thickness, upper ocean circulation, meridional overturning circulation, and sea ice thickness and extent and provide sensitivity of these ocean processes to changes or uncertainties in continental discharge.