The exhaust valve of the North Atlantic

de Boer, Agatha M. and Nof, Doron (2004) The exhaust valve of the North Atlantic. Journal of Climate, 17 (3). pp. 417-422. ISSN 1520-0442

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During glacial periods, climate records are marked by large-amplitude oscillations believed to be a result of North Atlantic (NA) freshwater anomalies, which weakened the thermohaline circulation (THC) and introduced instabilities. Such oscillations are absent from the present interglacial period. With the aid of a semiglobal analytical model, it is proposed that the Bering Strait (BS) acts like an exhaust valve for the above NA freshwater anomalies. Specifically, it is suggested that large instabilities in the THC are only possible during glacial periods because, during these periods, the BS is closed. During interglacial periods (when the BS, the exhaust valve, is open), low-salinity anomalies are quickly flushed out of the North Atlantic by the strong Southern Ocean winds.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Rosie Cullington
Date Deposited: 18 May 2011 14:05
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 15:30
DOI: 10.1175/1520-0442(2004)017<0417:TEVOTN>2.0.CO;2

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