Abyssal ocean warming around Antarctica strengthens the Atlantic overturning circulation.

Patara, Lavinia and Böning, Claus W. (2014) Abyssal ocean warming around Antarctica strengthens the Atlantic overturning circulation. Open Access Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (11). pp. 3972-3978. DOI 10.1002/2014GL059923.

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The abyssal warming around Antarctica is one of the most prominent multidecadal signals of change in the global ocean. Here we investigate its dynamical impacts on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) by performing a set of experiments with the ocean-sea ice model NEMO-LIM2 at 1/2 degrees horizontal resolution. The simulations suggest that the ongoing warming of Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW), already affecting much of the Southern Hemisphere with a rate of up to 0.05 degrees C decade(-1), has important implications for the large-scale meridional overturning circulation in the Atlantic Ocean. While the abyssal northward flow of AABW is weakening, we find the upper AMOC cell to progressively strengthen by 5-10% in response to deep density changes in the South Atlantic. The simulations suggest that the AABW-induced strengthening of the AMOC is already extending into the subtropical North Atlantic, implying that the process may counteract the projected decrease of the AMOC in the next decades.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000339280200039
Keywords: Antarctic Bottom Water; abyssal ocean warming; Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation; North Atlantic; Southern Ocean
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R11
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1002/2014GL059923
ISSN: 0094-8276
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2014 10:12
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 18:45
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/24754

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