Observed flow compensation associated with the MOC at 26.5°N in the Atlantic

Kanzow, Torsten; Cunningham, Stuart A.; Rayner, Darren ORCID:; Hirschi, Joël J.-M.; Johns, William E.; Baringer, Molly O.; Bryden, Harry L.; Beal, Lisa M.; Meinen, Christopher S.; Marotzke, Jochem. 2007 Observed flow compensation associated with the MOC at 26.5°N in the Atlantic. Science, 317 (5840). 938-941.

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The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC), which provides one-quarter of the global meridional heat transport, is composed of a number of separate flow components. How changes in the strength of each of those components may affect that of the others has been unclear because of a lack of adequate data. We continuously observed the MOC at 26.5°N for 1 year using end-point measurements of density, bottom pressure, and ocean currents; cable measurements across the Straits of Florida; and wind stress. The different transport components largely compensate for each other, thus confirming the validity of our monitoring approach. The MOC varied over the period of observation by ±5.7 × 106 cubic meters per second, with density-inferred and wind-driven transports contributing equally to it. We find evidence for depth-independent compensation for the wind-driven surface flow.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0036-8075
Date made live: 22 Aug 2007 +0 (UTC)

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