A sea change in our view of overturning in the sub polar North Atlantic

M. Susan Lozier, Feili Li, Sheldon Bacon, F Bahr, Amy S. Bower, Stuart Cunningham, M. Femke de Jong, Laura de Steur, Brad deYoung, Jürgen Fischer, Stefan Gary, Blair J.W. Greenan, N.P. Holliday, A Houk, Loic Houpert, Mark Inall, William Johns, Clare Louise Johnson, Johannes Karstensen, g komanI.A. Le Bras, X Lin, Neill Mackay, David Marshall, Herlé Mercier, M Oltmans, Robert S. Pickart, A.L. Ramsey, D. Rayner, Fiammetta Straneo, Virginie Thierry, D.J. Torres, R. Williams, C. Wilson, J. Yang, I Yashayaev, J. Zhao

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Abstract

To provide an observational basis for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections of a slowing Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC) in the 21st century, the Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP) observing system was launched in the summer of 2014. The first 21-month record reveals a highly variable overturning circulation responsible for the majority of the heat and freshwater transport across the OSNAP line. In a departure from the prevailing view that changes in deep water formation in the Labrador Sea dominate MOC variability, these results suggest that the conversion of warm, salty, shallow Atlantic waters into colder, fresher, deep waters that move southward in the Irminger and Iceland basins is largely responsible for overturning and its variability in the subpolar basin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-521
Number of pages6
JournalScience
Volume363
Issue number6426
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

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    Lozier, M. S., Li, F., Bacon, S., Bahr, F., Bower, A. S., Cunningham, S., de Jong, M. F., de Steur, L., deYoung, B., Fischer, J., Gary, S., Greenan, B. J. W., Holliday, N. P., Houk, A., Houpert, L., Inall, M., Johns, W., Johnson, C. L., Karstensen, J., ... Zhao, J. (2019). A sea change in our view of overturning in the sub polar North Atlantic. Science, 363(6426), 516-521. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aau6592