skip to main content

Title: Timing of Deglacial AMOC Variability From a High-Resolution Seawater Cadmium Reconstruction: Timing Deglacial Upper AMOC Variability
 ;  ;  
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1195 to 1203
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract Ocean heat transport (OHT) plays a key role in climate and its variability. Here, we identify modes of low-frequency North Atlantic OHT variability by applying a low-frequency component analysis (LFCA) to output from three global climate models. The first low-frequency component (LFC), computed using this method, is an index of OHT variability that maximizes the ratio of low-frequency variance (occurring at decadal and longer timescales) to total variance. Lead-lag regressions of atmospheric and ocean variables onto the LFC timeseries illuminate the dominant mechanisms controlling low-frequency OHT variability. Anomalous northwesterly winds from eastern North America over the North Atlantic act to increase upper ocean density in the Labrador Sea region, enhancing deep convection, which later increases OHT via changes in the strength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). The strengthened AMOC carries warm, salty water into the subpolar gyre, reducing deep convection and weakening AMOC and OHT. This mechanism, where changes in AMOC and OHT are driven primarily by changes in Labrador Sea deep convection, holds not only in models where the climatological (i.e., time-mean) deep convection is concentrated in the Labrador Sea, but also in models where the climatological deep convection is concentrated in the Greenland-Iceland-Norwegian (GIN) Seasmore »or the Irminger and Iceland Basins. These results suggest that despite recent observational evidence suggesting that the Labrador Sea plays a minor role in driving the climatological AMOC, the Labrador Sea may still play an important role in driving low-frequency variability in AMOC and OHT.« less
  2. Mechanisms driving the North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) variability at low frequency are of central interest for accurate climate predictions. Although the subpolar gyre region has been identified as a preferred place for generating climate time-scale signals, their southward propagation remains under consideration, complicating the interpretation of the observed time series provided by the Rapid Climate Change–Meridional Overturning Circulation and Heatflux Array–Western Boundary Time Series (RAPID–MOCHA–WBTS) program. In this study, we aim at disentangling the respective contribution of the local atmospheric forcing from signals of remote origin for the subtropical low-frequency AMOC variability. We analyze for this a set of four ensembles of a regional (20°S–55°N), eddy-resolving (1/12°) North Atlantic oceanic configuration, where surface forcing and open boundary conditions are alternatively permuted from fully varying (realistic) to yearly repeating signals. Their analysis reveals the predominance of local, atmospherically forced signal at interannual time scales (2–10 years), whereas signals imposed by the boundaries are responsible for the decadal (10–30 years) part of the spectrum. Due to this marked time-scale separation, we show that, although the intergyre region exhibits peculiarities, most of the subtropical AMOC variability can be understood as a linear superposition of these two signals. Finally, we find thatmore »the decadal-scale, boundary-forced AMOC variability has both northern and southern origins, although the former dominates over the latter, including at the site of the RAPID array (26.5°N).

    « less