Gulf Stream—AMOC

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Gulf Stream—AMOC

Postby HBS Guy » 28 Apr 2018, 07:10

The thermohaline circulation is slowing down because of AGW:

Structured Abstract
BACKGROUND
A 2002 report, Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises, highlighted the North Atlantic circulation as possibly subject to abrupt change in a warming climate. Likewise, the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report suggested that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) could weaken over the 21st century. As this circulation carries heat northward, giving the United Kingdom and northwest Europe a temperate climate, this generated renewed efforts to make observations of the AMOC. In particular, it led to the deployment of an observing system across the Atlantic at 26.5°N in spring 2004, which last year achieved a decade of measurements.

ADVANCES
In addition to the baseline decade of 26.5°N observations, there have been other ongoing measurements that capture components of the AMOC, some of which are not continuous or of much shorter duration. Together these observations are leading to a more complete picture of the AMOC. The 26.5°N AMOC observations have produced a number of surprises on time scales from subannual to multiannual. First, the range of AMOC variability found in the first year, 4 to 35 Sv (Sverdrup, a million cubic meters per second, the standard unit for ocean circulation), was larger than the 15 to 23 Sv found previously from five ship-based observations over 50 years. A similarly large range to that at 26.5°N has subsequently been observed at 34.5°S. Second, the amplitude of the seasonal cycle, with a minimum in the spring and a maximum in the autumn, was much larger (~6.7 Sv) than anticipated, and the driving mechanism of wind stress in the eastern Atlantic was unexpected as well. Third, the 30% decline in the AMOC during 2009–2010 was totally unexpected and exceeded the range of interannual variability found in climate models used for the IPCC assessments. This event was also captured by Argo and altimetry observations of the upper limb of the AMOC at 41°N. This dip was accompanied by significant changes in the heat content of the ocean, with potential impacts on weather that are the subject of active research. Finally, over the period of the 26.5°N observations, the AMOC has been declining at a rate of about 0.5 Sv per year, 10 times as fast as predicted by climate models. Whether this is a trend that is a decline due to global warming or part of the so-called Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation/Variability, inferred from sea surface temperature measurement, is also a subject of active research. There is no doubt that continuously observing the AMOC over a decade has considerably altered our view of the role of ocean variability in climate.

OUTLOOK
The 26.5°N AMOC observations are stimulating the development of further AMOC observing systems both to the north, in the North Atlantic subpolar gyre, and to the south, in the South Atlantic. The aim is to obtain a holistic picture of the AMOC from south to north. Given the surprises and insights into the Atlantic circulation that observations have produced to date, it is not too much to expect that with the new observations there will be future “inevitable surprises.

Image

A simplified schematic (top) of the AMOC.
Warm water flows north in the upper ocean (red), gives up heat to the atmosphere (atmospheric flow gaining heat represented by changing color of broad arrows), sinks, and returns as a deep cold flow (blue). Latitude of the 26.5°N AMOC observations is indicated. The actual flow is considerably more complex. (Bottom) The 10-year (April 2004 to March 2014) time series of the AMOC strength at 26.5°N in Sverdrups (1 Sv = 106 m3 s–1). This is the 180-day filtered version of the time series. Visible are the low AMOC event in 2009–2010 and the overall decline in AMOC strength over the 10-year period.

Abstract
The importance of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) heat transport for climate is well acknowledged. Climate models predict that the AMOC will slow down under global warming, with substantial impacts, but measurements of ocean circulation have been inadequate to evaluate these predictions. Observations over the past decade have changed that situation, providing a detailed picture of variations in the AMOC. These observations reveal a surprising degree of AMOC variability in terms of the intraannual range, the amplitude and phase of the seasonal cycle, the interannual changes in strength affecting the ocean heat content, and the decline of the AMOC over the decade, both of the latter two exceeding the variations seen in climate models.



A decline in the Gulf Stream will see the Atlantic off the east coast of the US warm and the sea level rise even further. In England winters will be colder but summers hotter.

Direct measurement shows the AMOC is slowing. It is slowing because meltwater from Arctic sea ice and the Greenland ice sheet are lighter than saline sea water so doesn’t sink, In the Antarctic as the sea and land ice melts the same thing happens—the overturning is more and more not happening.

When the Atlantic where the Gulf Stream flows is 9°C hotter than normal it is silly to think the Gulf Stream is unchanged! The Gulf of Mexico is also markedly warmer than normal. Warm waters can feed storms energy and moisture.

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/348/6241/1255575

The Gulf Stream, AMOC is also called the thermohaline circulation. Thermo—heat, haline—salt (chlorine, like fluorine, bromine and iodine are halogens.) Heavy, cold salty water sinks and returns to Antarctica but fresh water is lighter than sea water so does not sink.

We see a cold patch of ocean south of Greenland and warm water off the east coast of the US—fingerprint of a slowing AMOC.
Abbott & Co are going to cause the mother and father of all recessions—be prepared!
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Re: Gulf Stream—AMOC

Postby HBS Guy » 28 Apr 2018, 07:24

Abbott & Co are going to cause the mother and father of all recessions—be prepared!
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Re: Gulf Stream—AMOC

Postby pinkeye » 28 Apr 2018, 23:02

That doesn't sound good.

Of course, Meteorology is an empirical science. Try as we may, we cannot know the answers to questions not yet posed.

We can project... we can hope... we can deny.... but... we will all be there.... us or our offspring, when we face our just desserts. :roll

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Re: Gulf Stream—AMOC

Postby HBS Guy » 28 Apr 2018, 23:18

If the Gulf Stream is slowing down, sending moisture more easterly we could see another hurricane head for the British Isls like last summer. Dunno if there will be another series strong hurricanes.
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Re: Gulf Stream—AMOC

Postby pinkeye » 29 Apr 2018, 00:56

anything is possible
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Re: Gulf Stream—AMOC

Postby MilesAway » 29 Apr 2018, 13:33

HBS Guy wrote:If the Gulf Stream is slowing down, sending moisture more easterly we could see another hurricane head for the British Isls like last summer. Dunno if there will be another series strong hurricanes.

Why would the gulf stream slowing down send more moisture east?
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Re: Gulf Stream—AMOC

Postby HBS Guy » 29 Apr 2018, 17:41

Because it moves east as cold meltwater from Greenland pools south of Greenland. So any storm will find warmth and moisture to feed it east of where they normally track.
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