Robust estimates for the decadal evolution of Agulhas leakage from the 1960s to the 2010s.

Rühs, Siren , Schmidt, Christina , Schubert, René , Schulzki, Tobias , Schwarzkopf, Franziska U. , Le Bars, Dewi and Biastoch, Arne (2022) Robust estimates for the decadal evolution of Agulhas leakage from the 1960s to the 2010s. Open Access Communications Earth & Environment, 3 (1). Art.Nr. 318. DOI 10.1038/s43247-022-00643-y.

[thumbnail of s43247_022_00643_y.pdf]
s43247_022_00643_y.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0.

Download (3MB) | Preview

Supplementary data:


Agulhas leakage, the transport of warm and salty waters from the Indian Ocean into the South Atlantic, has been suggested to increase under anthropogenic climate change, due to strengthening Southern Hemisphere westerly winds. The resulting enhanced salt transport into the South Atlantic may counteract the projected weakening of the Atlantic overturning circulation through warming and ice melting. Here we combine existing and new observation- and model-based Agulhas leakage estimates to robustly quantify its decadal evolution since the 1960s. We find that Agulhas leakage very likely increased between the mid-1960s and mid-1980s, in agreement with strengthening winds. Our models further suggest that increased leakage was related to enhanced transport outside eddies and coincided with strengthened Atlantic overturning circulation. Yet, it appears unlikely that Agulhas leakage substantially increased since the 1990s, despite continuously strengthening winds. Our results stress the need to better understand decadal leakage variability to detect and predict anthropogenic trends.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/H2020/818123 ; BMBF: 03F0796A
Keywords: Agulhas leakage; physical oceanography; climate change
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-OD Ocean Dynamics
Main POF Topic: PT2: Ocean and Cryosphere
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
Publisher: Nature Research
Related URLs:
Projects: CASISAC, SPACES, iAtlantic, ESM, Opendap
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2022 12:34
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2023 14:07

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item