Observed and simulated estimates of the meridional overturning circulation at 26.5° N in the Atlantic.

Baehr, J., Cunningham, S., Haak, H., Heimbach, P., Kanzow, Torsten and Marotzke, J. (2009) Observed and simulated estimates of the meridional overturning circulation at 26.5° N in the Atlantic. Open Access Ocean Science, 5 (5). pp. 575-589. DOI 10.5194/os-5-575-2009.

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Abstract

Daily timeseries of the meridional overturning circulation (MOC) estimated from the UK/US RAPID/MOCHA array at 26.5° N in the Atlantic are used to evaluate the MOC as simulated in two global circulation models: (I) an 8-member ensemble of the coupled climate model ECHAM5/MPI-OM, and (II) the ECCO-GODAE state estimate. In ECHAM5/MPI-OM, we find that the observed and simulated MOC have a similar variability and time-mean within the 99% confidence interval. In ECCO-GODAE, we find that the observed and simulated MOC show a significant correlation within the 99% confidence interval. To investigate the contribution of the different transport components, the MOC is decomposed into Florida Current, Ekman and mid-ocean transports. In both models, the mid-ocean transport is closely approximated by the residual of the MOC minus Florida Current and Ekman transports. As the models conserve volume by definition, future comparisons of the RAPID/MOCHA mid-ocean transport should be done against the residual transport in the models. The similarity in the variance and the correlation between the RAPID/MOCHA, and respectively ECHAM5/MPI-OM and ECCO-GODAE MOC estimates at 26.5° N is encouraging in the context of estimating (natural) variability in climate simulations and its use in climate change signal-to-noise detection analyses. Enhanced confidence in simulated hydrographic and transport variability will require longer observational time series.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: In the author list, the surname of S. Cunningham was misspelled. Above is the correct author list.
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.5194/os-5-575-2009
ISSN: 1812-0784
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2009 14:44
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 12:51
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/6244

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