Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) confirmed the existence of a deep ocean circulation system off Iceland in an article in the August 21, 2011, issue of the journal Nature Geoscience.
The North Icelandic Jet (NIJ) was an unknown contributor to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation that has a major influence on ocean temperatures and climate.
Previously the East Greenland Current was thought to be the primary contributor to the circulation of ocean currents to great depths that reduce the temperature in the Denmark Strait Overflow Water.
With this new discovery a new player and the impact of its influence on ocean current circulation must be analyzed.
A team of scientists from the U.S., Iceland, Norway, and the Netherlands will begin the analysis on August 22, 2011, that will use a WHOI RV to determine the path and affect the North Icelandic Jet has on ocean temperatures and climate change.
Héðinn Valdimarsson and Steingrímur Jónsson of the Marine Research Institute in Reykjavik, Iceland are the two discoverers of the NIJ.
The authors of the paper include Robert S. Pickart of WHOI, Michael A. Spall, and Daniel J. Torres of WHOI, lead author Kjetil Våge, a graduate of the MIT-WHOI joint program now with University of Bergen, Norway, Svein Østerhus and Tor Eldevik, also of the University of Bergen, Norway.
The research was reviewed at the Eureka Alert web site on August 21, 2011.