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A recent decline in North Atlantic subtropical mode water formation

A recent decline in North Atlantic subtropical mode water formation
A recent decline in North Atlantic subtropical mode water formation
As a manifestation of mixing dynamics in the upper ocean, interannual and decadal variability of subtropical mode water (STMW) properties in the North Atlantic Ocean provides a valuable insight into ocean–atmosphere interaction in a changing climate. Here, we use hydrographic data from the Bermuda Atlantic Time-Series Study and Hydrostation S sites near Bermuda, as well as various ocean reanalysis products, to evaluate the modern variability of STMW properties. Our study finds an 86–93% loss of STMW thickness at these sites between 2010 and 2018 and a comparable loss throughout the western subtropical gyre, culminating in the weakest STMW pentad on record. We correlate this decline with a reduction in the annual outcropping volume and northward excursions of the formation region, suggesting a gyre-wide signal of weakening STMW generation. The outcropping volume of STMW is anti-correlated with surface ocean heat content, foreshadowing future STMW loss in the face of continued warming.
1758-678X
335-341
Stevens, Samuel W.
42034469-0d8c-4c81-8aa4-145100d7b12b
Johnson, Rodney J.
c6722f9c-3c6a-4d29-b025-1d9059526f78
Maze, Guillaume
4041197a-6569-4d0d-b43c-6666f9010274
Bates, Nicholas R.
954a83d6-8424-49e9-8acd-e606221c9c57
Stevens, Samuel W.
42034469-0d8c-4c81-8aa4-145100d7b12b
Johnson, Rodney J.
c6722f9c-3c6a-4d29-b025-1d9059526f78
Maze, Guillaume
4041197a-6569-4d0d-b43c-6666f9010274
Bates, Nicholas R.
954a83d6-8424-49e9-8acd-e606221c9c57

Stevens, Samuel W., Johnson, Rodney J., Maze, Guillaume and Bates, Nicholas R. (2020) A recent decline in North Atlantic subtropical mode water formation. Nature Climate Change, 10 (4), 335-341. (doi:10.1038/s41558-020-0722-3).

Record type: Article

Abstract

As a manifestation of mixing dynamics in the upper ocean, interannual and decadal variability of subtropical mode water (STMW) properties in the North Atlantic Ocean provides a valuable insight into ocean–atmosphere interaction in a changing climate. Here, we use hydrographic data from the Bermuda Atlantic Time-Series Study and Hydrostation S sites near Bermuda, as well as various ocean reanalysis products, to evaluate the modern variability of STMW properties. Our study finds an 86–93% loss of STMW thickness at these sites between 2010 and 2018 and a comparable loss throughout the western subtropical gyre, culminating in the weakest STMW pentad on record. We correlate this decline with a reduction in the annual outcropping volume and northward excursions of the formation region, suggesting a gyre-wide signal of weakening STMW generation. The outcropping volume of STMW is anti-correlated with surface ocean heat content, foreshadowing future STMW loss in the face of continued warming.

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s41558-020-0722-3 (1) (1)
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Accepted/In Press date: 6 February 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 March 2020
Published date: 1 April 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 442005
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/442005
ISSN: 1758-678X
PURE UUID: 9cf3920f-7468-42ef-8e23-d1927b9d6e61

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Date deposited: 03 Jul 2020 16:38
Last modified: 06 Oct 2020 17:14

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