A Simple Model of the Response of the Atlantic to the North Atlantic Oscillation

Zhai, Xiaoming, Johnson, Helen L. and Marshall, David P. (2014) A Simple Model of the Response of the Atlantic to the North Atlantic Oscillation. Journal of Climate, 27 (11). pp. 4052-4069. ISSN 0894-8755

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Abstract

The response of an idealized Atlantic Ocean to wind and thermohaline forcing associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is investigated both analytically and numerically in the framework of a reduced-gravity model. The NAO-related wind forcing is found to drive a time-dependent “leaky” gyre circulation that integrates basinwide stochastic wind Ekman pumping and initiates low-frequency variability along the western boundary. This is subsequently communicated, together with the stochastic variability induced by thermohaline forcing at high latitudes, to the remainder of the Atlantic via boundary and Rossby waves. At low frequencies, the basinwide ocean heat content changes owing to NAO wind forcing and thermohaline forcing are found to oppose each other. The model further suggests that the recently reported opposing changes of the meridional overturning circulation in the Atlantic subtropical and subpolar gyres between 1950–70 and 1980–2000 may be a generic feature caused by interplay between the NAO wind and thermohaline forcing.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: meridional overturning circulation,ocean dynamics,rossby waves,teleconnections,north atlantic oscillation,thermocline circulation
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2014 09:32
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2020 23:29
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/50475
DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00330.1

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