The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC), which provides one-quarter of the global meridional heat transport, is composed of a number of separate flow components. How changes in the strength of each of those components may affect that of the others has been unclear because of a lack of adequate data. We continuously observed the MOC at 26.5 degrees N for 1 year using end-point measurements of density, bottom pressure, and ocean currents; cable measurements across the Straits of Florida; and wind stress. The different transport components largely compensate for each other, thus confirming the validity of our monitoring approach. The MOC varied over the period of observation by +/- 5.7 x 10(6) cubic meters per second, with density-inferred and wind-driven transports contributing equally to it. We find evidence for depth-independent compensation for the wind-driven surface flow.
Kanzow, T., Cunningham, S. A., Rayner, D., Hirschi, J. J. -M., Johns, W. E., Baringer, M. O., Bryden, H. L., Beal, L. M., Meinen, C. S., & Marotzke, J. (2007). Observed flow compensation associated with the MOC at 26.5 degrees N in the Atlantic. Science, 317(5840), 938-941. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1141293