Jamie Morison

Jamie MorisonDr. Morison’s main focus centers on the study of Arctic Ocean change. He has been the principal investigator for the NSF-supported North Pole Environmental Observatory since 2000. He is involved with using remote sensing, principally NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), to track changes in Arctic Ocean Circulation and freshwater distribution. He is also continuing a long-term interest in small-scale processes by studying interplay among Arctic change, internal waves and mixing.

Selected Projects

  • Comparison of GRACE with In Situ Ocean Bottom Pressure and Hydrography in the North Pole Region

    We this project will compare in situ measurements of ocean bottom pressure and hydrography with GRACE estimates of time-varying ocean bottom pressure. Arctic Bottom Pressure Recorders have been deployed and extensive hydrographic measurements have been made under other projects. Comparisons with some of these measurements suggest that GRACE can provide sorely needed large-scale, continuous information on the changing Arctic Ocean circulation. Our North Pole in situ measurements are particularly useful for GRACE validation because the GRACE footprint passes over the North Pole more frequently than any other ocean location on earth, making comparisons there robust. GRACE appears to provide our…

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  • Sensitivity of Arctic Ocean Change to Background Mixing

    This project is motivated by recent findings showing the sensitivity of Arctic Ocean circulation to background deep-ocean diapycnal mixing. Mixing in the stratified ocean is related to internal wave energy, which tends to be low under the Arctic Ocean ice cover. Consequently, as ice cover declines background mixing may increase and, among other changes, bring more Atlantic Water heat to the surface to melt ice, a potentially important positive climate feedback. To understand the influence of background mixing and to improve models of the changing Arctic Ocean, we are taking advantage of the latest analysis techniques to examine existing internal…

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  • North Pole Environmental Observatory

    The observatory is staffed by an international research team that establishes a camp at the North Pole each spring to take the pulse of the Arctic Ocean and learn how the world’s northernmost sea helps regulate global climate.

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Selected Publications

  • Vivier, F., J. K. Hutchings, Y. Kawaguchi, T. Kikuchi, J. H. Morison, A. Lourenço, and T. Noguchi(2016), Sea ice melt onset associated with lead opening during the spring/summer transition near the North Pole, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 121, 24992522, doi:10.1002/2015JC011588.

  • Peralta-Ferriz, C., J.  H. Morison, J. M. Wallace, J. Bonin and J. Zhang (2014), Arctic Ocean circulation patterns revealed by GRACE, J. Climate, 27, 1445–1468, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00013.1.

  • Lique, C., J. Guthrie, M. Steele, A. Proshutinsky, J. H. Morison, and R. Krishfield, Diffusive vertical heat flux in the Canada Basin of the Arctic Ocean inferred from moored instruments, J. Geophys. Res., 119, 10.1002/2013JC009346, 2014

  • Morison, J., R. Kwok, C. Peralta-Ferriz, M. Alkire, I. Rigor, R. Andersen, and M. Steele, Changing Arctic Ocean Freshwater Pathways Measured With ICESat and GRACE, Nature, 481, 66-70, DOI: 10.1038/nature10705, 2012

  • Peralta-Ferriz, C., J.  H. Morison, J. M. Wallace and J. Zhang, (2011), A basin-coherent mode of sub-monthly variability in Arctic Ocean bottom pressure, Geophys. Res. Lett, 38, L14606, doi:10.1029/2011GL048142.

  • Peralta-Ferriz, C. and J. Morison, “Understanding the annual cycle of the Arctic Ocean bottom pressure”, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L10603, doi:10.1029/2010GL042827, 2010.

  • Proshutinsky, A., M.-L. Timmermans, I. Ashik, A. Beszczynska-Moeller, E. Carmack, I. Frolov, R. Krishfield, F. McLaughlin, J. Morison, I. Polyakov, K. Shimada, V. Sokolov, M. Steele, J. Toole, and R. Woodgate, The Arctic, c. Ocean [in “State of the Climate in 2009”], Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 91 (6), S85-87, 2010.

  • Sirevaag, A., M.G. McPhee, J.H. Morison, W.J. Shaw, and T.P. Stanton, ‘Wintertime mixed layer measurements at Maud Rise, Weddell Sea‘, J. Geophys. Res., 115, doi:10.1029/2008JC005141, 2010.

  • Kwok, R., S. Farrell, R. Forsberg, K. Giles, S. Laxon, D. McAdoo, J. Morison, L. Padman, C. Peralta-Ferriz, A. Proshutinsky, and M. Steele,’ Combining satellite altimetry, time-variable gravity, and bottom pressure observations to understand the Arctic Ocean: A transformative opportunity’, Proceedings of the OceanObs09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society Conference, Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison D.E. and Stammer, D., Eds., 2, ESA Publication WPP-30, 2010.

  • Alkire, M.B., K.K. Falkner, J. Morison, R.W. Collier, C.K.Guay, R.A. Desiderio, I.G. Rigor, M. McPhee (2010). Sensor-based profiles of the NO parameter in the central Arctic and southern Canada Basin: new insights regarding the cold halocline, Deep-Sea Research I 57: 1432-1443, 2010.

  • deSteur, L., M. Steele, J. Morison, I. G. Rigor, C. M. Lee, and E. Hansen, Recent changes in Arctic Ocean freshwater distribution, J. Climate, in review, 2010.

  • Shaw, W.J., T.P. Stanton, M.G. McPhee, J.H. Morison, and D.G. Martinson,’ Role of the upper ocean in the energy budget of Arctic sea ice during SHEBA’, J. Geophys. Res., 114, doi:10.1029/2008JC004991, 2009.

  • Zhang J., M. Steele, R. Lindsay, A. Schweiger, J. Morison, “Ensemble 1-Year predictions of Arctic sea ice for the spring and summer of 2008”, Journal of Polar Science,submitted 2008.

  • Morison, J., J. Wahr, R. Kwok, and C. Peralta-Ferriz,’ Recent trends in Arctic Ocean mass distribution revealed by GRACE’, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L07602, doi:10.1029/2006GL029016, 2007.

  • Richter-Menge, J., J. Overland, A. Proshutinsky, V. Romanovsky, L. Bengtsson, L. Brigham, M. Dyurgerov, J.C. Gascard, S. Gerland, R. Graversen, C. Haas, M. Karcher, P. Kuhry, J. Maslanik, H. Melling, W. Maslowski, J. Morison, D. Perovich, R. Przybylak, V. Rachold, I.G. Rigor, A. Shiklomanov, J. Stroeve, D. Walker, and J. Walsh,’ State of the Arctic‘, NOAA OAR Special Report, NOAA/OAR/PMEL, Seattle, WA, 36 pp, 2006.

  • Morison, J., M. Steele, T. Kikuchi, K. Falkner, and W. Smethie,’ The relaxation of Central Arctic Ocean hydrography toward pre-1990s climatology‘, Geophys. Res. Lett.,33, L17604, doi: 10.1029/2006GL026826, 2006.

  • Polyakov, I.V., Beszczynska, A., Carmack, E.C., Dmitrenko, I.A., Fahrbach, E., Frolov, I.E., Gerdes, R., Hansen, E., Holfort, J., Ivanov, V.V., Johnson, M.A., Karcher, M., Kauker, F., Morison, J., Orvik, K.A., Schauer, U., Simmons, H.L., Skagseth, Ø., Sokolov, V.T., Steele, M., Timokhov, L.A., Walsh, D., Walsh, J.E.,’ One more step toward a warmer Arctic’, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L17605, 10.1029/2005GL023740, 2005.

  • Falkner, K., M. Steele, R. Woodgate, J. Swift, K. Aagaard, and J. Morison, “Dissolved oxygen extrema in the Arctic Ocean halocline from the North Pole to the Lincoln Sea“, Deep-Sea Res., Volume 52, Issue 7, Pages 1138-1154, 2005.

  • Morison, J. H., K. Aagaard, K. K. Falkner, K, Hatakeyama, R. Moritz, J. E. Overland, D. Perovich, K. Shimada, M. Steele, T. Takizawa, R. Woodgate, Early results from the North Pole Environmental Observatory, EOS Trans., 83(33), pp. 357, 360-361, 2002.

  • Uttal, T., J. A. Curry, M. G. McPhee, D. K. Perovich, R. E. Moritz, J. A. Maslanik, P. S. Guest, H. L. Stern, J. A. Moore, R. Turenne, A. Heiberg, M. C. Serreze, D. P. Wylie, O. G. Persson, C. A. Paulson, C. Halle, J. H. Morison, P. A. Wheeler, A. Makshtas, H. Welch, M. D. Shupe, J. M Intrieri, K. Stamnes, R. W. Lindsey, R. Pinkel, W. S. Pegau, T. P. Stanton, and T. C. Grenfell, Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 81, 255-275. 2002.

  • Morison, J. H., K. Aagaard, and M. Steele, Recent environmental changes in the Arctic: A review, Arctic, 53, 359-371, 2000.

  • Perovich, D., E. L. Andreas, J. A. Curry, H. Eiken, C. W. Fairall, T. C. Grenfell, P. S. Guest, J. Intrieri, D. Kadko, R. W. Lindsay, M. G. McPhee, J. Morison, R. E. Moritz, C. A. Paulson, W. S. Pegau, P. O. G. Persson, R. Pinkel, J. A. Richter-Menge, T. Stanton, H. Stern, M. Sturm, W. B. Tucker III, and T. Uttal. “Year on ice gives climate insights.” EOS, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, 80 (41), 481-486, 1999.

  • Morison, J. H., M. Steele, and R. Andersen, Hydrography of the upper Arctic Ocean measured from the nuclear submarine USS Pargo, Deep Sea Res. I, 45, 15-38, 1998.

  • Steele, M., J. H. Morison, and T. Curtin, Halocline water formation in the Barents Sea, J. Geophys. Res., 100, 881-894, 1995.

  • Steele, M. and J. Morison, Hydrography and vertical fluxes of heat and salt northeast of Svalbard in autumn, J. Geophys. Res., 98, 10,013-10,024, 1993.

  • Steele, M. and J. H. Morison, Obtaining smooth hydrographic profiles from a buoy deployed in sea ice, J. Atmos. and Ocean. Technol., 9, 812-826, 1992.

  • Steele, M., J. H. Morison, and N. Untersteiner, The partition of air-ice-ocean momentum exchange as a function of ice concentration, floe size, and draft, J. Geophys. Res., 94, 12,739-12,750, 1989.


The Polar Science Center is a group of dedicated investigators conducting interdisciplinary research on the oceanography, climatology, meteorology, biology and ecology of the ice-covered regions on Earth and elsewhere in the solar system. Learn more »