Current hydrographic data can provide snapshots but no continuous timeseries of the meridional overturning circulation (MOC). Using output from two eddy-permitting numerical ocean models we test the feasibility of a monitoring system for the MOC in the North Atlantic. The results suggest that a relatively simple arrangement, using moorings placed across a longitude-depth section and the zonal wind stress, is able to capture most of the MOC strength and vertical structure as a function of time. Being closely related to the transport of energy to the North Atlantic, measuring the MOC would open the prospect of having continuous information about a key element of northern hemisphere climate.
Hirschi, J., Baehr, J., Marotzke, J., Stark, J., Cunningham, S., & Beismann, JO. (2003). A monitoring design for the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Geophysical Research Letters, 30(7). https://doi.org/10.1029/2002GL016776