Upper ocean manifestations of a reducing meridional overturning circulation

Thomas, M. D., de Boer, A. M., Stevens, D. P. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7283-4405 and Johnson, H. L. (2012) Upper ocean manifestations of a reducing meridional overturning circulation. Geophysical Research Letters, 39 (16). ISSN 0094-8276

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Most climate models predict a slowing down of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation during the 21st century. Using a 100 year climate change integration of a high resolution coupled climate model, we show that a 5.3 Sv reduction in the deep southward transport in the subtropical North Atlantic is balanced solely by a weakening of the northward surface western boundary current, and not by an increase in the southward transport integrated across the interior ocean away from the western boundary. This is consistent with Sverdrup balance holding to a good approximation outside of the western boundary region on decadal time scales, and may help to spatially constrain past and future change in the overturning circulation. The subtropical gyre weakens by 3.4 Sv over the same period due to a weakened wind stress curl. These changes combine to give a net 8.7 Sv reduction in upper western boundary transport.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematics
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Fluid and Solid Mechanics
Depositing User: Users 2731 not found.
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2012 12:07
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2023 13:32
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/39713
DOI: 10.1029/2012GL052702

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