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RAPID/MOCHA/WBTS THE SEASONAL CYCLE OF THE AMOC AT 26ºN Eastern Boundary Considerations Gerard McCarthy, Eleanor Frajka- Williams, Aurélie Duchez and David.

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Presentation on theme: "RAPID/MOCHA/WBTS THE SEASONAL CYCLE OF THE AMOC AT 26ºN Eastern Boundary Considerations Gerard McCarthy, Eleanor Frajka- Williams, Aurélie Duchez and David."— Presentation transcript:

1 RAPID/MOCHA/WBTS THE SEASONAL CYCLE OF THE AMOC AT 26ºN Eastern Boundary Considerations Gerard McCarthy, Eleanor Frajka- Williams, Aurélie Duchez and David Smeed National Oceanography Centre Southampton UK

2 Introduction

3 The AMOC at 26ºN Rayner, D., et al. (2011), Monitoring the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, Deep Sea Research II, 58, 1744–1753. Gulf Stream + Ekman + Upper Mid Ocean = AMOC

4 Gulf Stream, MOC, Ekman & Upper Mid-Ocean Transports Interannual Variability in 09/10 shifted circulation from overturning to gyre (McCarthy et al., 2012, GRL) Double dips in winters 09/10 and 10/11 described in Blaker et al., 2013, submitted to Climate Dynamics AMOC timeseries and related data products are available from Data from individual instruments are available from

5 Seasonal Cycle Large seasonal cycle in AMOC driven by upper Mid-Ocean transport seasonality AMOC timeseries and related data products are available from Seas. Amp. GS 3 Sv MOC 6 Sv Ekman 3 Sv UMO 6.5 Sv

6 Basin-scale Seasonality

7 ±1.8 Sv,SE=1.0 Sv ±2.6 Sv, SE=0.5 Sv SD 3.5 Sv, Range 7.0 Sv SD 3.1 Sv, Range 6.2 Sv The Seasonal Cycle due to the Eastern Boundary Kanzow, T., et al. (2010), Seasonal variability of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation at 26.5°N, J. Clim., 23(21), doi: /2010JCLI Chidichimo, M. P., T. Kanzow, S. A. Cunningham, W. E. Johns, and J. Marotzke (2010), The contribution of eastern- boundary density variations to the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation at 26.5 N, Ocean Science, 6, Largest seasonal influence in mid-ocean transports due to the east Recent variability hasn’t changed this

8 Basinwide response to wind forcing Zhao, J. and Johns, W. E. (2013) Wind driven seasonal cycle of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, submitted 70ºW 60ºW 50ºW 40ºW 30ºW 20ºW Seasonal cycle coherent across the basin in OFES and simple two layer model Not solely an eastern boundary phenomenom and not dependent on location of RAPID moorings Seasonal cycle (Sv) in (top) OFES and (bottom) two layer model Duchez et al. (2013) Density variations around the Canary Islands and their influence in the AMOC at 26ºN, in prep

9 Forced Rossby wave response to wind stress curl Observed Mid-ocean transport anomaly Ocean response to wind stress curl forced Rossby wave model explains the first baroclinic mode structure seen in observations Modelled Mid-ocean transport anomaly

10 Local Seasonality

11 Observed Mid-ocean transport anomaly Not all of seasonal structure explained by first baroclinic mode structure

12 Canarian Deep Poleward Undercurrent Vélez-Belchi, P., et al. (2013), The Canary deep poleward undercurrent. In prep Machín, F., et al. (2009), Northward Penetration of Antarctic Intermediate Water off Northwest Africa, JPO, 39, AAIW (MOW) flows northward (southward) in the Canarian deep poleward undercurrent (CDPU)during the Autumn (Spring) forced by seasonal layer stretching (compression) This deep poleward undercurrent is unusual and infrequently observed

13 Machín, F., et al. (2010), Seasonal Flow Reversals of Intermediate Waters in the Canary Current System East of the Canary Islands, JPO, 40, 1902–1909 Seasonal Reversals of Intermediate Water Distinct seasonal reversals of flow in the Lanzarote Channel Intermediate (1000 m) measurements correlate salinity changes with current reversals High salinity Med. Outflow water (MOW): Southward flow in Dec/Jan Low salinity Antarctic Int. Water (AAIW): Northward flow in Summer/Autumn

14 Evidence of CDPU in RAPID mooring data Monthly Sal. Anom on 8 C 500 dbar 1000 dbar 2000 dbar Potential Temperature Rapid data at Eastern Boundary shows clear salinity signal of seasonal oscillations around 1000 dbar These are consistent with seasonal reversals of AAIW and MOW in the CDPU

15 Evidence of layer stretching

16 Large Scale Consequences Understanding the role of the Poleward Undercurrent is important to understand the part of the seasonal cycle that is not explained by the Rossby Wave model It has important consequences for freshwater transport at 26 N as transport fluctuations are associated with salinity changes Changes in freshwater flux near the eastern boundary of 0.1 Sv are not picked up by models Courtesy of Elaine McDonagh Observed Mid-ocean transport anomaly Integrated Freshwater flux at 26ºN

17 MOC seasonal cycle is 6.7 Sv peak-to-peak UMO contributes the most pronounced seasonal cycle of 5.9 Sv Seasonal cycle in UMO is caused by heaving of the thermocline forced by seasonal anomalies in the wind stress curl. Canarian deep poleward undercurrent plays a secondary role driven by seasonal stretching of the intermediate layer Conclusions

18 End

19 Contribution of the upper mid-ocean western and eastern boundaries to the UMO seasonal cycle Expectation that upwelling drives stronger (weaker) thermocline flow in the autumn (spring) Reality is that seasonally reversing intermediate flows driven by water column stretching (squeezing) are the major factor Chidichimo, M. P. et al.,(2010), The contribution of eastern- boundary density variations to the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation at 26.5 N, Ocean Science, 6

20 The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union 7th Framework Programme (FP ), under grant agreement n NACLIM


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