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Future changes in internal variability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

Future changes in internal variability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation
Future changes in internal variability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation
The response of the internal variability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) to enhanced atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations has been estimated from an ensemble of climate change scenario runs. In the model, enhanced greenhouse forcing results in a weaker and shallower MOC with reduced internal variability. At the same time at 55 degrees N between 0 and 1,000 m the overturning increases as a result of a change in the area of convection. In a warmer world, new regions of deepwater formation form further north due to the poleward retreat of the sea-ice boundary. The dominant pattern of internal MOC-variability consists of a monopole centered around 35 degrees N. Due to anthropogenic warming this monopole shifts poleward. The shift is associated with a stronger relation between MOC-variations and heat flux variations over the subpolar gyre. In old convective sites (Labrador Sea) convection becomes more irregular which leads to enhanced heat flux variability. In new convective sites heat flux variations initially are related to sea-ice variations. When the sea-ice coverage further decreases they become associated with (irregular) deepwater formation. Both processes act to tighten the relation between subpolar surface heat flux variability and MOC-variability, resulting in a poleward shift of the latter.
meridional overturning cell, north atlantic, subpolar gyre, climate change
0930-7575
407-419
Drijfhout, Sybren
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13
Hazeleger, Wilco
21d5b030-1127-424f-b22b-0a470dcb5b32
Selten, Frank
4104a5ed-6fe6-444d-8d23-25290516db8e
Haarsma, Rein
a1c40e8b-9dce-4e33-8610-7589461c5166
Drijfhout, Sybren
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13
Hazeleger, Wilco
21d5b030-1127-424f-b22b-0a470dcb5b32
Selten, Frank
4104a5ed-6fe6-444d-8d23-25290516db8e
Haarsma, Rein
a1c40e8b-9dce-4e33-8610-7589461c5166

Drijfhout, Sybren, Hazeleger, Wilco, Selten, Frank and Haarsma, Rein (2008) Future changes in internal variability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Climate Dynamics, 30 (4), 407-419. (doi:10.1007/s00382-007-0297-y).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The response of the internal variability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) to enhanced atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations has been estimated from an ensemble of climate change scenario runs. In the model, enhanced greenhouse forcing results in a weaker and shallower MOC with reduced internal variability. At the same time at 55 degrees N between 0 and 1,000 m the overturning increases as a result of a change in the area of convection. In a warmer world, new regions of deepwater formation form further north due to the poleward retreat of the sea-ice boundary. The dominant pattern of internal MOC-variability consists of a monopole centered around 35 degrees N. Due to anthropogenic warming this monopole shifts poleward. The shift is associated with a stronger relation between MOC-variations and heat flux variations over the subpolar gyre. In old convective sites (Labrador Sea) convection becomes more irregular which leads to enhanced heat flux variability. In new convective sites heat flux variations initially are related to sea-ice variations. When the sea-ice coverage further decreases they become associated with (irregular) deepwater formation. Both processes act to tighten the relation between subpolar surface heat flux variability and MOC-variability, resulting in a poleward shift of the latter.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 16 August 2007
Published date: 2008
Keywords: meridional overturning cell, north atlantic, subpolar gyre, climate change
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 348366
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/348366
ISSN: 0930-7575
PURE UUID: 322f63ff-e324-47e2-b3ee-6f8d91b2bbd4

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Feb 2013 13:28
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 21:43

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