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Large near-inertial oscillations of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation

Large near-inertial oscillations of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation
Large near-inertial oscillations of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation
The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) is a key contributor to Europe’s mild climate. Both observations and models suggest that the AMOC strength varies on a wide range of timescales. Here we show the existence of previously unreported large near inertial AMOC oscillations in a high resolution ocean model. Peak-to-peak these oscillations can exceed 50 Sv (50 · 106 m3 s?1) in one day. The AMOC oscillations are caused by equatorward propagating near-inertial gravity waves (NIGWs) which are forced by temporally changing wind forcing. The existence of NIGWs in the ocean is supported by observations, and a significant fraction of the ocean’s kinetic energy is associated with the near inertial frequencies. Our results also suggest that the NIGW-driven MOC variability would be near invisible to contemporary AMOC observing systems such as the RAPID MOC system at 26.5°N.
1463-5003
50-56
Blaker, Adam T.
94efe8b2-c744-4e90-87d7-db19ffa41200
Hirschi, Joël J-M.
c8a45006-a6e3-4319-b5f5-648e8ef98906
Sinha, Bablu
544b5a07-3d74-464b-9470-a68c69bd722e
de Cuevas, Beverly
01cc697c-2832-4de6-87bf-bf9f16c1f906
Alderson, Steven
ef2e98fa-f62c-4763-88f4-a4e368077283
Coward, Andrew
53b78140-2e65-476a-b287-e8384a65224b
Madec, Gurvan
ffb28deb-4bbd-4a4c-914f-492f813e4864
Blaker, Adam T.
94efe8b2-c744-4e90-87d7-db19ffa41200
Hirschi, Joël J-M.
c8a45006-a6e3-4319-b5f5-648e8ef98906
Sinha, Bablu
544b5a07-3d74-464b-9470-a68c69bd722e
de Cuevas, Beverly
01cc697c-2832-4de6-87bf-bf9f16c1f906
Alderson, Steven
ef2e98fa-f62c-4763-88f4-a4e368077283
Coward, Andrew
53b78140-2e65-476a-b287-e8384a65224b
Madec, Gurvan
ffb28deb-4bbd-4a4c-914f-492f813e4864

Blaker, Adam T., Hirschi, Joël J-M., Sinha, Bablu, de Cuevas, Beverly, Alderson, Steven, Coward, Andrew and Madec, Gurvan (2012) Large near-inertial oscillations of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Ocean Modelling, 42, 50-56. (doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2011.11.008).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) is a key contributor to Europe’s mild climate. Both observations and models suggest that the AMOC strength varies on a wide range of timescales. Here we show the existence of previously unreported large near inertial AMOC oscillations in a high resolution ocean model. Peak-to-peak these oscillations can exceed 50 Sv (50 · 106 m3 s?1) in one day. The AMOC oscillations are caused by equatorward propagating near-inertial gravity waves (NIGWs) which are forced by temporally changing wind forcing. The existence of NIGWs in the ocean is supported by observations, and a significant fraction of the ocean’s kinetic energy is associated with the near inertial frequencies. Our results also suggest that the NIGW-driven MOC variability would be near invisible to contemporary AMOC observing systems such as the RAPID MOC system at 26.5°N.

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Published date: 2012
Organisations: Marine Systems Modelling

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 209655
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/209655
ISSN: 1463-5003
PURE UUID: 7618ecfd-b295-428f-bb21-db3ca57b9261

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Date deposited: 31 Jan 2012 15:27
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 10:46

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Contributors

Author: Adam T. Blaker
Author: Joël J-M. Hirschi
Author: Bablu Sinha
Author: Beverly de Cuevas
Author: Steven Alderson
Author: Andrew Coward
Author: Gurvan Madec

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