A sea change in our view of overturning in the subpolar North Atlantic

Lozier, M. S., Li, F., Bacon, S., Bahr, F., Bower, A. S., Cunningham, S. A., de Jong, M. F., de Steur, L., deYoung, B., Fischer, Jürgen, Gary, S. F., Greenan, B. J. W., Holliday, N. P., Houk, A., Houpert, L., Inall, M. E., Johns, W. E., Johnson, H. L., Johnson, C., Karstensen, Johannes, Koman, G., Le Bras, I. A., Lin, X., Mackay, N., Marshall, D. P., Mercier, H., Oltmanns, Marilena, Pickart, R. S., Ramsey, A. L., Rayner, D., Straneo, F., Thierry, V., Torres, D. J., Williams, R. G., Wilson, C., Yang, J., Yashayaev, I. and Zhao, J. (2019) A sea change in our view of overturning in the subpolar North Atlantic Science, 363 (6426). pp. 516-521. DOI 10.1126/science.aau6592.

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To provide an observational basis for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections of a slowing Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC) in the 21st century, the Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP) observing system was launched in the summer of 2014. The first 21-month record reveals a highly variable overturning circulation responsible for the majority of the heat and freshwater transport across the OSNAP line. In a departure from the prevailing view that changes in deep water formation in the Labrador Sea dominate MOC variability, these results suggest that the conversion of warm, salty, shallow Atlantic waters into colder, fresher, deep waters that move southward in the Irminger and Iceland basins is largely responsible for overturning and its variability in the subpolar basin.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: deep water formation; heat transfer; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; meridional circulation; overturn; polar region; shallow water; Atlantic Ocean; Atlantic Ocean (North); Iceland Basin; Labrador Sea
Research affiliation: NOC
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Woods Hole
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1126/science.aau6592
ISSN: 0036-8075
Projects: NACLIM, Blue-Action, ATLAS, AtlantOS
  • MSM
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2019 09:48
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2019 09:48
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/45774

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