Filling in the Map: The space-time geography of Arctic Ocean mixing and why it matters

The rates and mechanisms of ocean mixing are important controls on how the oceans function; yet, our understanding of mixing in the ocean is significantly limited by complex variability in mixing rates and processes, and by a scarcity of direct observations. In the Arctic Ocean, the challenges are significant: mixing measurements are especially sparse and latitude, ice, and stratification make the mixing environment unique. In this talk, I’ll discuss various ways we are mapping Arctic Ocean mixing rates and deriving insights into what sets mixing space-time geography using pan-Arctic measurements from a variety of autonomous instrument platforms and the archived data record. I’ll also show results from our experiments with realistic ocean models to argue that this map matters both to our understanding of Arctic Ocean functioning and our ability to make robust predictions of future climate change.