© The Author(s), 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in [citation], doi:[doi].
Frajka-Williams, E., Ansorge, I. J., Baehr, J., Bryden, H. L., Chidichimo, M. P., Cunningham, S. A., Danabasoglu, G., Dong, S., Donohue, K. A., Elipot, S., Heimbach, P., Holliday, N. P., Hummels, R., Jackson, L. C., Karstensen, J., Lankhorst, M., Le Bras, I. A., Lozier, M. S., McDonagh, E. L., Meinen, C. S., Mercier, H., Moat, B., I., Perez, R. C., Piecuch, C. G., Rhein, M., Srokosz, M. A., Trenberth, K. E., Bacon, S., Forget, G., Goni, G., Kieke, D., Koelling, J., Lamont, T., McCarthy, G. D., Mertens, C., Send, U., Smeed, D. A., Speich, S., van den Berg, M., Volkov, D., & Wilson, C. Atlantic meridional overturning circulation: Observed transport and variability. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, (2019): 260, doi:10.3389/fmars.2019.00260.
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) extends from the Southern Ocean to the northern North Atlantic, transporting heat northwards throughout the South and North Atlantic, and sinking carbon and nutrients into the deep ocean. Climate models indicate that changes to the AMOC both herald and drive climate shifts. Intensive trans-basin AMOC observational systems have been put in place to continuously monitor meridional volume transport variability, and in some cases, heat, freshwater and carbon transport. These observational programs have been used to diagnose the magnitude and origins of transport variability, and to investigate impacts of variability on essential climate variables such as sea surface temperature, ocean heat content and coastal sea level. AMOC observing approaches vary between the different systems, ranging from trans-basin arrays (OSNAP, RAPID 26°N, 11°S, SAMBA 34.5°S) to arrays concentrating on western boundaries (e.g., RAPID WAVE, MOVE 16°N). In this paper, we outline the different approaches (aims, strengths and limitations) and summarize the key results to date. We also discuss alternate approaches for capturing AMOC variability including direct estimates (e.g., using sea level, bottom pressure, and hydrography from autonomous profiling floats), indirect estimates applying budgetary approaches, state estimates or ocean reanalyses, and proxies. Based on the existing observations and their results, and the potential of new observational and formal synthesis approaches, we make suggestions as to how to evaluate a comprehensive, future-proof observational network of the AMOC to deepen our understanding of the AMOC and its role in global climate.
OSNAP is funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF, OCE-1259013), UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC, projects: OSNAP NE/K010875/1, Extended Ellett Line and ACSIS); China's national key research and development projects (2016YFA0601803), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41521091 and U1606402) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (201424001); the German Ministry BMBF (RACE program); Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO: AZOMP). Additional support was received from the European Union 7th Framework Programme (FP7 2007–2013: NACLIM 308299) and the Horizon 2020 program (Blue-Action 727852, ATLAS 678760, AtlantOS 633211), and the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). RAPID and MOCHA moorings at 26°N are funded by NERC and NSF (OCE1332978). ABC fluxes is funded by the NERC RAPID-AMOC program (grant number: NE/M005046/1). Florida Current cable array is funded by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Meridional Overturning Variability Experiment (MOVE) was funded by the NOAA Climate Program Office-Ocean Observing and Monitoring Division, and initially by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). SAMBA 34.5°S is funded by the NOAA Climate Program Office-Ocean Observing and Monitoring Division (100007298), the French SAMOC project (11–ANR-56-004), from Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological development (CNPq: 302018/2014-0) and Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAESP: SAMOC-Br grants 2011/50552-4 and 2017/09659-6), the South African DST-NRF-SANAP program and South African Department of Environmental Affairs. The Line W project was funded by NSF (grant numbers: OCE-0726720, 1332667, and 1332834), with supplemental contributions from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)'s Ocean and Climate Change Institute. The Oleander Program is funded by NOAA and NSF (grant numbers: OCE1536517, OCE1536586, OCE1536851). The 47°N array NOAC is funded by the BMBF (grant numbers: 03F0443C, 03F0605C, 03F0561C, 03F0792A). The Senate Commission of Oceanography from the DFG granted shiptime and costs for travel, transports and consumables. JB's work is funded by DFG under Germany's Excellence Strategy (EXC 2037 Climate, Climatic Change, and Society, Project Number: 390683824), contribution to the Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN) of Universitat Hamburg. LCJ was funded by the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS: 23-GLO-RAN LOT 3). MSL was supported by the Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (NSF grant: OCE-1259013). GDM was supported by the Blue-Action project (European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant number: 727852). HM was supported by CNRS. RH acknowledges financial support by the BMBF as part of the cooperative projects RACE (03F0605B, 03F0824C). The National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is sponsored by NSF under Cooperative Agreement No. 1852977. JKO was supported by NASA Headquarters under the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Program (Grant NNX16AO39H).
meridional overturning circulation
ocean heat transport
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