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Atlantic meridional overturning circulation: Observed transport and variability

Atlantic meridional overturning circulation: Observed transport and variability
Atlantic meridional overturning circulation: Observed transport and variability
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) extends from the Southern Ocean to the northern North Atlantic, transporting heat northwards throughout the South and North Atlantic, and sinking carbon and nutrients into the deep ocean. Climate models indicate that changes to the AMOC both herald and drive climate shifts. Intensive trans-basin AMOC observational systems have been put in place to continuously monitor meridional volume transport variability, and in some cases, heat, freshwater and carbon transport. These observational programs have been used to diagnose the magnitude and origins of transport variability, and to investigate impacts of variability on essential climate variables such as sea surface temperature, ocean heat content and coastal sea level. AMOC observing approaches vary between the different systems, ranging from trans-basin arrays (OSNAP, RAPID 26°N, 11°S, SAMBA 34.5°S) to arrays concentrating on western boundaries (e.g., RAPID WAVE, MOVE 16°N). In this paper, we outline the different approaches (aims, strengths and limitations) and summarize the key results to date. We also discuss alternate approaches for capturing AMOC variability including direct estimates (e.g., using sea level, bottom pressure, and hydrography from autonomous profiling floats), indirect estimates applying budgetary approaches, state estimates or ocean reanalyses, and proxies. Based on the existing observations and their results, and the potential of new observational and formal synthesis approaches, we make suggestions as to how to evaluate a comprehensive, future-proof observational network of the AMOC to deepen our understanding of the AMOC and its role in global climate.
2296-7745
Frajka-Williams, Eleanor
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Ansorge, Isabelle J.
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Baehr, Johanna
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Danabasoglu, Gokhan
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Dong, Shenfu
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Donohue, Kathleen A.
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Elipot, Shane
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Heimbach, Patrick
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Holliday, N. Penny
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Karstensen, Johannes
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Le Bras, Isabela A.
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Mcdonagh, Elaine L.
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Meinen, Christopher S.
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Perez, Renellys C.
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Piecuch, Christopher G.
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Rhein, Monika
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Srokosz, Meric A.
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Trenberth, Kevin E.
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Bacon, Sheldon
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Forget, Gael
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Goni, Gustavo
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Kieke, Dagmar
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Koelling, Jannes
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Lamont, Tarron
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McCarthy, Gerard D.
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Mertens, Christian
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Send, Uwe
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Smeed, David A.
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Van Den Berg, Marcel
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Volkov, Denis
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Wilson, Chris
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Frajka-Williams, Eleanor
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Ansorge, Isabelle J.
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Baehr, Johanna
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Bryden, Harry L.
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Chidichimo, Maria Paz
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Cunningham, Stuart A.
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Danabasoglu, Gokhan
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Dong, Shenfu
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Donohue, Kathleen A.
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Elipot, Shane
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Heimbach, Patrick
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Holliday, N. Penny
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Hummels, Rebecca
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Jackson, Laura C.
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Karstensen, Johannes
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Lankhorst, Matthias
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Le Bras, Isabela A.
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Lozier, M. Susan
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Mcdonagh, Elaine L.
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Meinen, Christopher S.
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Mercier, Herlé
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Perez, Renellys C.
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Piecuch, Christopher G.
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Rhein, Monika
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Srokosz, Meric A.
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Trenberth, Kevin E.
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Bacon, Sheldon
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Forget, Gael
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Goni, Gustavo
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Kieke, Dagmar
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Koelling, Jannes
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Lamont, Tarron
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McCarthy, Gerard D.
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Mertens, Christian
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Send, Uwe
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Smeed, David A.
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Speich, Sabrina
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Van Den Berg, Marcel
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Volkov, Denis
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Wilson, Chris
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Frajka-Williams, Eleanor, Ansorge, Isabelle J., Baehr, Johanna, Bryden, Harry L., Chidichimo, Maria Paz, Cunningham, Stuart A., Danabasoglu, Gokhan, Dong, Shenfu, Donohue, Kathleen A., Elipot, Shane, Heimbach, Patrick, Holliday, N. Penny, Hummels, Rebecca, Jackson, Laura C., Karstensen, Johannes, Lankhorst, Matthias, Le Bras, Isabela A., Lozier, M. Susan, Mcdonagh, Elaine L., Meinen, Christopher S., Mercier, Herlé, Moat, Bengamin I., Perez, Renellys C., Piecuch, Christopher G., Rhein, Monika, Srokosz, Meric A., Trenberth, Kevin E., Bacon, Sheldon, Forget, Gael, Goni, Gustavo, Kieke, Dagmar, Koelling, Jannes, Lamont, Tarron, McCarthy, Gerard D., Mertens, Christian, Send, Uwe, Smeed, David A., Speich, Sabrina, Van Den Berg, Marcel, Volkov, Denis and Wilson, Chris (2019) Atlantic meridional overturning circulation: Observed transport and variability. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6. (doi:10.3389/fmars.2019.00260).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) extends from the Southern Ocean to the northern North Atlantic, transporting heat northwards throughout the South and North Atlantic, and sinking carbon and nutrients into the deep ocean. Climate models indicate that changes to the AMOC both herald and drive climate shifts. Intensive trans-basin AMOC observational systems have been put in place to continuously monitor meridional volume transport variability, and in some cases, heat, freshwater and carbon transport. These observational programs have been used to diagnose the magnitude and origins of transport variability, and to investigate impacts of variability on essential climate variables such as sea surface temperature, ocean heat content and coastal sea level. AMOC observing approaches vary between the different systems, ranging from trans-basin arrays (OSNAP, RAPID 26°N, 11°S, SAMBA 34.5°S) to arrays concentrating on western boundaries (e.g., RAPID WAVE, MOVE 16°N). In this paper, we outline the different approaches (aims, strengths and limitations) and summarize the key results to date. We also discuss alternate approaches for capturing AMOC variability including direct estimates (e.g., using sea level, bottom pressure, and hydrography from autonomous profiling floats), indirect estimates applying budgetary approaches, state estimates or ocean reanalyses, and proxies. Based on the existing observations and their results, and the potential of new observational and formal synthesis approaches, we make suggestions as to how to evaluate a comprehensive, future-proof observational network of the AMOC to deepen our understanding of the AMOC and its role in global climate.

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fmars-06-00260 - Version of Record
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Accepted/In Press date: 2 May 2019
Published date: 7 June 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 431715
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/431715
ISSN: 2296-7745
PURE UUID: 21d1e4d2-012f-4b9a-91df-4d57fe11dab5
ORCID for Eleanor Frajka-Williams: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8773-7838
ORCID for Harry L. Bryden: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8216-6359

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Date deposited: 14 Jun 2019 16:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 01:57

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Contributors

Author: Eleanor Frajka-Williams ORCID iD
Author: Isabelle J. Ansorge
Author: Johanna Baehr
Author: Harry L. Bryden ORCID iD
Author: Maria Paz Chidichimo
Author: Stuart A. Cunningham
Author: Gokhan Danabasoglu
Author: Shenfu Dong
Author: Kathleen A. Donohue
Author: Shane Elipot
Author: Patrick Heimbach
Author: N. Penny Holliday
Author: Rebecca Hummels
Author: Laura C. Jackson
Author: Johannes Karstensen
Author: Matthias Lankhorst
Author: Isabela A. Le Bras
Author: M. Susan Lozier
Author: Elaine L. Mcdonagh
Author: Christopher S. Meinen
Author: Herlé Mercier
Author: Bengamin I. Moat
Author: Renellys C. Perez
Author: Christopher G. Piecuch
Author: Monika Rhein
Author: Meric A. Srokosz
Author: Kevin E. Trenberth
Author: Sheldon Bacon
Author: Gael Forget
Author: Gustavo Goni
Author: Dagmar Kieke
Author: Jannes Koelling
Author: Tarron Lamont
Author: Gerard D. McCarthy
Author: Christian Mertens
Author: Uwe Send
Author: David A. Smeed
Author: Sabrina Speich
Author: Marcel Van Den Berg
Author: Denis Volkov
Author: Chris Wilson

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