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The North Atlantic Ocean is in a state of reduced overturning

Smeed, D.A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1740-1778; Josey, S.A.; Beaulieu, C.; Johns, W.E.; Moat, B.I. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8676-7779; Frajka-Williams, Eleanor ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8773-7838; Rayner, D. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2283-4140; Meinen, C.S.; Baringer, M.O.; Bryden, H.L.; McCarthy, G.D.. 2018 The North Atlantic Ocean is in a state of reduced overturning. Geophysical Research Letters, 45 (3). 1527-1533. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL076350

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Abstract/Summary

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is responsible for a variable and climatically important northward transport of heat. Using data from an array of instruments that span the Atlantic at 26°N, we show that the AMOC has been in a state of reduced overturning since 2008 as compared to 2004-2008. This change of AMOC state is concurrent with other changes in the North Atlantic such as a northward shift and broadening of the Gulf Stream, and altered patterns of heat content and sea-surface temperature. These changes resemble the response to a declining AMOC predicted by coupled climate models. Concurrent changes in air-sea fluxes close to the western boundary reveal that the changes in ocean heat transport and SST have altered the pattern of ocean-atmosphere heat exchange over the North Atlantic. These results provide strong observational evidence that the AMOC is a major factor in decadal scale variability of North Atlantic climate.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL076350
ISSN: 00948276
Date made live: 06 Feb 2018 11:41 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/519229

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