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Reduction in ocean heat transport at 26°N since 2008 cools the eastern subpolar gyre of the North Atlantic Ocean

Bryden, Harry L.; Johns, William E.; King, Brian A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1338-3234; McCarthy, Gerard; McDonagh, Elaine L.; Moat, Ben I. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8676-7779; Smeed, David A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1740-1778. 2020 Reduction in ocean heat transport at 26°N since 2008 cools the eastern subpolar gyre of the North Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Climate, 33 (5). 1677-1689. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0323.1

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Abstract/Summary

Northward ocean heat transport at 26°N in the Atlantic has been measured since 2004. The ocean heat transport is large, about 1.25PW, and on interannual time scales it exhibits surprisingly large temporal variability. There has been a long-term reduction in ocean heat transport of 0.17 PW from 1.32 PW before 2009 to 1.15 PW after 2009 (2009-2016) on an annual average basis associated with a 2.5 Sv drop in the AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation). The reduction in the AMOC has cooled and freshened the upper ocean north of 26°N over an area following the offshore edge of the Gulf Stream/North Atlantic Current from the Bahamas to Iceland. Cooling peaks south of Iceland where surface temperatures are as much as 2°C cooler in 2016 than they were in 2008. Heat uptake by the atmosphere appears to have been affected particularly along the path of the North Atlantic Current. For the reduction in ocean heat transport, changes in ocean heat content account for about one-quarter of the long-term reduction in ocean heat transport while reduced heat uptake by the atmosphere appears to account for the remainder of the change in ocean heat transport

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0323.1
ISSN: 0894-8755
Date made live: 10 Dec 2019 08:27 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/526135

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