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Interdecadal North-Atlantic meridional overturning circulation variability in EC-EARTH

Interdecadal North-Atlantic meridional overturning circulation variability in EC-EARTH
Interdecadal North-Atlantic meridional overturning circulation variability in EC-EARTH
The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) in a 600 years pre-industrial run of the newly developed EC-EARTH model features marked interdecadal variability with a dominant time-scale of 50–60 years. An oscillation of approximately 2 Sverdrup (1 Sv = 106 m3 s?1) is identified, which manifests itself as a monopole causing the overturning to simultaneously strengthen (/weaken) and deepen (/shallow) as a whole. Eight years before the AMOC peaks, density in the Labrador-Irminger Sea region reaches a maximum, triggering deep water formation. This density change is caused by a counterclockwise advection of temperature and salinity anomalies at lower latitudes, which we relate to the north-south excursions of the subpolar-subtropical gyre boundary and variations in strength and position of the subpolar gyre and the North Atlantic Current. The AMOC fluctuations are not directly forced by the atmosphere, but occur in a delayed response of the ocean to forcing by the North Atlantic Oscillation, which initiates “intergyre”-gyre fluctuations. Associated with the AMOC is a 60-year sea surface temperature variability in the Atlantic, with a pattern and timescale showing similarities with the real-world Atlantic Multidecadal Variability. This good agreement with observations lends a certain degree of credibility that the mechanism that is described in this article could be seen as representative of the real climate system.
0930-7575
2695-2712
Wouters, Bert
9423572c-c5e8-40c3-a9b6-a621378a5b3e
Drijfhout, Sybren
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13
Hazeleger, Wilco
21d5b030-1127-424f-b22b-0a470dcb5b32
Wouters, Bert
9423572c-c5e8-40c3-a9b6-a621378a5b3e
Drijfhout, Sybren
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13
Hazeleger, Wilco
21d5b030-1127-424f-b22b-0a470dcb5b32

Wouters, Bert, Drijfhout, Sybren and Hazeleger, Wilco (2012) Interdecadal North-Atlantic meridional overturning circulation variability in EC-EARTH. Climate Dynamics, 39 (11), 2695-2712. (doi:10.1007/s00382-012-1366-4).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) in a 600 years pre-industrial run of the newly developed EC-EARTH model features marked interdecadal variability with a dominant time-scale of 50–60 years. An oscillation of approximately 2 Sverdrup (1 Sv = 106 m3 s?1) is identified, which manifests itself as a monopole causing the overturning to simultaneously strengthen (/weaken) and deepen (/shallow) as a whole. Eight years before the AMOC peaks, density in the Labrador-Irminger Sea region reaches a maximum, triggering deep water formation. This density change is caused by a counterclockwise advection of temperature and salinity anomalies at lower latitudes, which we relate to the north-south excursions of the subpolar-subtropical gyre boundary and variations in strength and position of the subpolar gyre and the North Atlantic Current. The AMOC fluctuations are not directly forced by the atmosphere, but occur in a delayed response of the ocean to forcing by the North Atlantic Oscillation, which initiates “intergyre”-gyre fluctuations. Associated with the AMOC is a 60-year sea surface temperature variability in the Atlantic, with a pattern and timescale showing similarities with the real-world Atlantic Multidecadal Variability. This good agreement with observations lends a certain degree of credibility that the mechanism that is described in this article could be seen as representative of the real climate system.

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More information

Published date: December 2012
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 348344
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/348344
ISSN: 0930-7575
PURE UUID: 4f05d8cf-3086-457c-80f9-0df4d4533f92

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Date deposited: 12 Feb 2013 12:06
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 15:02

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Contributors

Author: Bert Wouters
Author: Wilco Hazeleger

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