ISSN 1006-9895

CN 11-1768/O4

Transient Response of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation to the Enhanced Freshwater Forcing and Its Mechanism

Fund Project:

  • Article
  • |
  • Figures
  • |
  • Metrics
  • |
  • Reference
  • |
  • Related
  • |
  • Cited by
  • |
  • Materials

    The mechanism for the transient response of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) to the enhanced and continuous freshwater input into the Arctic Ocean and the Nordic Seas for 150 years is investigated using a fully coupled climate model (Bergen Climate Model, BCM for short). The responses of the Sea Surface Temperature (SST), Salinity (SSS), Potential Density (SPD), the North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) formation, Diapycnal Mixing (DM) and the wind stress are analyzed. The transient response of AMOC follows a quick dropping down during the first 50 years, with a gradual recovery for the later 100 years in the freshwater perturbation experiment (FW1). The authors find that the initial weakening of AMOC in the FW1 is mainly caused by decreasing of SSS and SPD which leads to a stable vertical stratification and then to the weakening of the NADW formation; however, AMOC recovers though the enhanced freshwater input is continuous and constant during the following 100-year integration by means of a series of feedbacks, which can be summarized as follows: 1) With the reduction in the NADW formation, the vertical density stratification in the mid-to-deep ocean at the mid-low latitudes of the North Atlantic is getting weaker, as a result, the strength of DM, parameterized by stratification-dependent method, increases and then leads to the increased upwelling; 2) the strengthened westerly and weakened easterly over the Southern Ocean and the strengthened easterly over the North Atlantic Ocean contribute together to the recovery of the northward Ekman transport; 3) the increased northward salt transport and the reduced precipitation over the North Atlantic subpolar region cause the recoveries of the SSS and SPD at northern high latitudes, and then the recovery of NADW formation, mainly in the Irminger Sea.

    Cited by
Get Citation
Article Metrics
  • Abstract:
  • PDF:
  • HTML:
  • Cited by:
  • Received:
  • Revised:
  • Adopted:
  • Online: April 19,2012
  • Published: