Inter-annual Variability in the Subpolar Overturning Circulation: A Sensitivity Analysis

Khatri, Hemant ORCID: 0000-0001-6559-9059, Williams, Richard ORCID: 0000-0002-3180-7558, Woollings, Tim and Smith, Doug
(2022) Inter-annual Variability in the Subpolar Overturning Circulation: A Sensitivity Analysis.

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<jats:p>&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;We employ multi-ensemble Met Office Decadal Prediction System hindcasts to analyse the impact of atmospheric winds and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) phases on the overturning circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean. A positive NAO phase is generally associated with an anomalously strong and/or northward shifted jet stream in the North Atlantic, and the vice-versa is true for a negative NAO phase. As a consequence of relatively strong winds, oceans tend to lose more heat to the atmosphere in winter in many parts of the subpolar North Atlantic Ocean. This process is expected to create negative anomalies in sea surface temperature and generate more dense water on the ocean surface at high latitudes resulting in a strengthening in the overturning circulation. Here, we examine the sensitivity of the overturning circulation to NAO phases in multi-ensemble decadal hindcasts to understand how the interior ocean responds to different NAO phases. For this purpose, we analyse the changes in east-west density contrasts, upper ocean heat content, mixed-layer depth, meridional heat and salt transport in different oceanic regions, i.e. Labrador Sea, Irminger Sea and Nordic Seas. In particular, we perform a linear regression analysis for the above-mentioned diagnostics and NAO indices to assess how sensitive the upper ocean is to changes in the atmospheric state. We further compare our results against reanalysis data and in-situ observations.&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2023 09:58
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2023 09:58
DOI: 10.5194/egusphere-egu22-1741
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