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Recent wind-driven variability in Atlantic water mass distribution and meridional overturning circulation

Recent wind-driven variability in Atlantic water mass distribution and meridional overturning circulation
Recent wind-driven variability in Atlantic water mass distribution and meridional overturning circulation
Interannual variability in the volumetric water mass distribution within the North Atlantic subtropical gyre is described in relation to variability in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. The relative roles of diabatic and adiabatic processes in the volume and heat budgets of the subtropical gyre are investigated by projecting data into temperature coordinates as volumes of water using an Argo based climatology and an ocean state estimate (ECCO v4). This highlights that variations in the subtropical gyre volume budget are predominantly set by transport divergence in the gyre. A strong correlation between the volume anomaly due to transport divergence and the variability of both thermocline depth and Ekman pumping over the gyre suggests that wind-driven heave drives transport anomalies at the gyre boundaries. This wind-driven heaving contributes significantly to variations in the heat content of the gyre, as do anomalies in the air--sea fluxes. The analysis presented suggests that wind forcing plays an important role in driving interannual variability in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, and that this variability can be unraveled from spatially-distributed hydrographic observations using the framework presented here.
0022-3670
633–647
Evans, Dafydd Gwyn
4e1ed170-9119-4b35-a45f-55f8d07fa24e
Toole, John
b52d97b9-f206-40b5-823e-2ed9beb0ab39
Forget, Gael
37d75db7-5e43-41d9-8ef6-459c3c784526
Zika, Jan D.
16ede49c-f859-4351-ad8d-33412e574dec
Naveira Garabato, Alberto C.
97c0e923-f076-4b38-b89b-938e11cea7a6
Nurser, A.J. George
2493ef9a-21e9-4d8b-9c32-08677e7e145a
Yu, Lisan
24f3c81a-031c-4333-afb8-3030f94858ec
Evans, Dafydd Gwyn
4e1ed170-9119-4b35-a45f-55f8d07fa24e
Toole, John
b52d97b9-f206-40b5-823e-2ed9beb0ab39
Forget, Gael
37d75db7-5e43-41d9-8ef6-459c3c784526
Zika, Jan D.
16ede49c-f859-4351-ad8d-33412e574dec
Naveira Garabato, Alberto C.
97c0e923-f076-4b38-b89b-938e11cea7a6
Nurser, A.J. George
2493ef9a-21e9-4d8b-9c32-08677e7e145a
Yu, Lisan
24f3c81a-031c-4333-afb8-3030f94858ec

Evans, Dafydd Gwyn, Toole, John, Forget, Gael, Zika, Jan D., Naveira Garabato, Alberto C., Nurser, A.J. George and Yu, Lisan (2017) Recent wind-driven variability in Atlantic water mass distribution and meridional overturning circulation. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 47 (3), 633–647. (doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0089.1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Interannual variability in the volumetric water mass distribution within the North Atlantic subtropical gyre is described in relation to variability in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. The relative roles of diabatic and adiabatic processes in the volume and heat budgets of the subtropical gyre are investigated by projecting data into temperature coordinates as volumes of water using an Argo based climatology and an ocean state estimate (ECCO v4). This highlights that variations in the subtropical gyre volume budget are predominantly set by transport divergence in the gyre. A strong correlation between the volume anomaly due to transport divergence and the variability of both thermocline depth and Ekman pumping over the gyre suggests that wind-driven heave drives transport anomalies at the gyre boundaries. This wind-driven heaving contributes significantly to variations in the heat content of the gyre, as do anomalies in the air--sea fluxes. The analysis presented suggests that wind forcing plays an important role in driving interannual variability in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, and that this variability can be unraveled from spatially-distributed hydrographic observations using the framework presented here.

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JPO-D-16-0089.1 - Version of Record
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 18 January 2017
Published date: 1 March 2017
Organisations: Marine Systems Modelling, Ocean and Earth Science, Physical Oceanography, National Oceanography Centre

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 405202
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/405202
ISSN: 0022-3670
PURE UUID: 6db16d1c-3830-4d11-a6f5-fb430b0a794b

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Date deposited: 30 Jan 2017 09:36
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 07:22

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Contributors

Author: Dafydd Gwyn Evans
Author: John Toole
Author: Gael Forget
Author: Jan D. Zika
Author: A.J. George Nurser
Author: Lisan Yu

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