Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation at 14.5° N in 1989 and 2013 and 24.5° N in 1992 and 2015: volume, heat, and freshwater transports

Fu, Yao; Karstensen, Johannes; Brandt, Peter

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is analyzed by applying a box inverse model to hydrographic data from transatlantic sections along 14.5inline-formula N, occupied in 1989 and 2013, and along 24.5inline-formula N, occupied in 1992 and 2015. Direct comparison of water mass properties among the different realizations at the respective latitudes shows that the Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) became warmer and saltier at 14.5inline-formula N, and the densest Antarctic Bottom Water became lighter, while the North Atlantic Deep Water freshened at both latitudes. The inverse solution shows that the intermediate layer transport at 14.5inline-formula N was also markedly weaker in 2013 than in 1989, indicating that the AAIW property changes at this latitude may be related to changes in the circulation. The inverse solution was validated using the RAPID and MOVE array data, and the GECCO2 ocean state estimate. Comparison among these datasets indicates that the AMOC has not significantly weakened over the past 2 decades at both latitudes. Sensitivity tests of the inverse solution suggest that the overturning structure and heat transport across the 14.5inline-formula N section are sensitive to the Ekman transport, while freshwater transport is sensitive to the transport-weighted salinity at the western boundary.

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Fu, Yao / Karstensen, Johannes / Brandt, Peter: Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation at 14.5° N in 1989 and 2013 and 24.5° N in 1992 and 2015: volume, heat, and freshwater transports. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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