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    Sustainable Observations of the AMOC: Methodology and Technology

    McCarthy, Gerard and Brown, P. J. and Flagg, C. N. and Goni, G. and Houpert, L. and Hughes, C. W. and Hummels, R. and Inall, M. and Jochumsen, K. and Larsen, K. M. H. and Lherminier, P. and Meinen, C. S. and Moat, B. I. and Rayner, D. and Rhein, M. and Roessler, A. and Schmid, C. and Smeed, D. A. (2020) Sustainable Observations of the AMOC: Methodology and Technology. Reviews of Geophysics, 58 (1). ISSN 8755-1209

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    The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is a key mechanism of heat, freshwater, and carbon redistribution in the climate system. The precept that the AMOC has changed abruptly in the past, notably during and at the end of the last ice age, and that it is “very likely” to weaken in the coming century due to anthropogenic climate change is a key motivation for sustained observations of the AMOC. This paper reviews the methodology and technology used to observe the AMOC and assesses these ideas and systems for accuracy, shortcomings, potential improvements, and sustainability. We review hydrographic techniques and look at how these traditional techniques can meet modern requirements. Transport mooring arrays (TMAs) provide the “gold standard” for sustained AMOC observing, utilizing dynamic height, current meter, and other instrumentation and techniques to produce continuous observations of the AMOC. We consider the principle of these systems and how they can be sustained and improved into the future. Techniques utilizing indirect measurements, such as satellite altimetry, coupled with in situ measurements, such as the Argo float array, are also discussed. Existing technologies that perhaps have not been fully exploited for estimating AMOC are reviewed and considered for this purpose. Technology is constantly evolving, and we look to the future of technology and how it can be deployed for sustained and expanded AMOC measurements. Finally, all of these methodologies and technologies are considered with a view to a sustained and sustainable future for AMOC observation.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as: McCarthy, G. D., Brown, P. J., Flagg, C. N., Goni, G., Houpert, L., Hughes, C. W., et al. (2020). Sustainable observations of the AMOC: methodology and technology. Reviews of Geophysics, 58, e2019RG000654. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
    Keywords: Climate system; climate change; hydrographic techniques; AMOC observation;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units, ICARUS
    Item ID: 15839
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Gerard McCarthy
    Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2022 11:27
    Journal or Publication Title: Reviews of Geophysics
    Publisher: Advance Earth and Space Science - Wiley
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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