In the autumn of 1996 the field component of an experiment designed to observe water mass transformation began in the Labrador Sea. Intense observations of ocean convection were taken in the following two winters. The purpose of the experiment was, by a combination of meteorological and oceanographic field observations, laboratory studies, theory, and modeling, to improve understanding of the convective process in the ocean and its representation in models. The dataset that has been gathered far exceeds previous efforts to observe the convective process anywhere in the ocean, both in its scope and range of techniques deployed. Combined with a comprehensive set of meteorological and air-sea flux measurements, it is giving unprecedented insights into the dynamics and thermodynamics of a closely coupled, semienclosed system known to have direct influence on the processes that control global climate.
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