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    Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation slowdown cooled the subtropical ocean


    Cunningham, Stuart A. and Roberts, Christopher D. and Frajka‐Williams, Eleanor and Johns, William E. and Hobbs, Will and Palmer, Matthew D. and Rayner, Darren and Smeed, David A. and McCarthy, Gerard (2013) Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation slowdown cooled the subtropical ocean. Geophysical Research Letters, 40 (23). pp. 6202-6207. ISSN 0094-8276

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    Abstract

    [1] Observations show that the upper 2 km of the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean cooled throughout 2010 and remained cold until at least December 2011. We show that these cold anomalies are partly driven by anomalous air‐sea exchange during the cold winters of 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 and, more surprisingly, by extreme interannual variability in the ocean's northward heat transport at 26.5°N. This cooling driven by the ocean's meridional heat transport affects deeper layers isolated from the atmosphere on annual timescales and water that is entrained into the winter mixed layer thus lowering winter sea surface temperatures. Here we connect, for the first time, variability in the northward heat transport carried by the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation to widespread sustained cooling of the subtropical North Atlantic, challenging the prevailing view that the ocean plays a passive role in the coupled ocean‐atmosphere system on monthly‐to‐seasonal timescales.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation; Atlantic Ocean heat transport; RAPID mooring array; Atlantic subtropical gyre; ocean observing system; ocean heat content;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 12195
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1002/2013GL058464
    Depositing User: Gerard McCarthy
    Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2020 15:44
    Journal or Publication Title: Geophysical Research Letters
    Publisher: American Geophysical Union
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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