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A stable Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation in a changing North Atlantic Ocean since the 1990s.

Authors
  • Fu, Yao1, 2, 3
  • Li, Feili4
  • Karstensen, Johannes5
  • Wang, Chunzai6, 2, 3
  • 1 State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China. , (China)
  • 2 Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou), Guangzhou, China. , (China)
  • 3 Innovation Academy of South China Sea Ecology and Environmental Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China. , (China)
  • 4 Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA. [email protected] [email protected] , (Georgia)
  • 5 GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 6 State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China. [email protected] [email protected] , (China)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Science Advances
Publisher
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2020
Volume
6
Issue
48
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc7836
PMID: 33246958
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is crucially important to global climate. Model simulations suggest that the AMOC may have been weakening over decades. However, existing array-based AMOC observations are not long enough to capture multidecadal changes. Here, we use repeated hydrographic sections in the subtropical and subpolar North Atlantic, combined with an inverse model constrained using satellite altimetry, to jointly analyze AMOC and hydrographic changes over the past three decades. We show that the AMOC state in the past decade is not distinctly different from that in the 1990s in the North Atlantic, with a remarkably stable partition of the subpolar overturning occurring prominently in the eastern basins rather than in the Labrador Sea. In contrast, profound hydrographic and oxygen changes, particularly in the subpolar North Atlantic, are observed over the same period, suggesting a much higher decoupling between the AMOC and ocean interior property fields than previously thought. Copyright © 2020 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC).

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