nerc.ac.uk

A numerical model study of the effects of interannual timescale wave propagation on the predictability of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation

Sinha, Bablu; Topliss, Brenda; Blaker, Adam Tobias; Hirschi, Joel Jean-Marie. 2013 A numerical model study of the effects of interannual timescale wave propagation on the predictability of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 118 (1). 131-146. 10.1029/2012JC008334

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
[img]
Preview
Text
jgrc20019_Sinha.pdf - Published Version

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract/Summary

We investigate processes leading to uncertainty in forecasts of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). A climate model is used to supply initial conditions for ensemble simulations in which members initially have identical ocean states but perturbed atmosphere states. Baroclinic transports diverge on interannual timescales even though the ocean is not eddy-permitting. Interannual fluctuations of the model AMOC in the subtropical gyre are caused by westward propagating Rossby waves. Divergence of the predicted AMOC with time occurs because the waves develop different phases in different ensemble members predominantly due to differences in eastern boundary windstress curl. These windstress fluctuations communicate with interior ocean transports via modifications to the vertical velocity and the vortex stretching term dw/dz. Consequently, errors propagate westwards resulting in longer predictability times in the interior ocean compared with the eastern boundary. Another source of divergence is transport anomalies propagating along the Gulf Stream (and other boundary currents). The propagation mechanism seems to be predominantly advection by mean currents, and we show that the arrival of westward propagating waves can trigger development of these anomalies. The mean state of the AMOC has a small effect on interannual predictability in the subtropical gyre, most likely because eastern boundary windstress curl predictability is not strongly dependent on the state of the AMOC in the subtropics. Eastern boundary windstress curl was more predictable at 45{degree sign}N when the AMOC was in a strongly decreasing state, but, unlike at 30{degree sign}N, no mechanism was found linking windstress curl fluctuations with deep transports.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1029/2012JC008334
Programmes: NOC Programmes
ISSN: 01480227
Date made live: 11 Jan 2013 14:02 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/446905

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...