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3.5.2.1 North Pacific Intermediate Water

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The North Pacific Intermediate Water (NPIW) has freshened over the last two decades (Wong et al., 1999; Nakano et al., 2007; Figure 3.9g) and has warmed since the 1950s, as reported in AR4, Chapter 5. NPIW in the northwestern North Pacific warmed by 0.5 °C from 1955 to 2004 and is now entering the subtropics at lower density; oxygen concentrations in the NPIW have declined, indicating weaker ventilation (Nakanowatari et al., 2007; Kouketsu et al., 2010). The strongest trends are in the Sea of Okhotsk, where NPIW is formed, and have been tentatively linked to increased air temperature and decreased sea-ice extent in winter (Nakanowatari et al., 2007; Figure 3.9i).

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