Historical Reconstruction of Subpolar North Atlantic Overturning and Its Relationship to Density



Roussenov, Vassil M ORCID: 0000-0003-4128-9712, Williams, Richard G ORCID: 0000-0002-3180-7558, Lozier, M Susan, Holliday, N Penny and Smith, Doug M
(2022) Historical Reconstruction of Subpolar North Atlantic Overturning and Its Relationship to Density. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS, 127 (6).

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Abstract

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>The connections between the overturning of the subpolar North Atlantic and regional density changes are assessed on interannual and decadal timescales using historical, data‐based reconstructions of the overturning over the last 60 years and forward model integrations with buoyancy and wind forcing. The data‐based reconstructions reveal a dominant eastern basin contribution to the subpolar overturning in density space and changes in the overturning reaching ±2.5 Sv, which are both in accord with the Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP). The zonally integrated geostrophic velocity across the basin is connected to boundary contrasts in Montgomery potential in density space. The overturning for the eastern side of the basin is strongly correlated with density changes in the Irminger and Labrador Seas, while the overturning for the western side is correlated with boundary density changes in the Labrador Sea. These boundary density signals are a consequence of local atmospheric forcing and transport of upstream density changes. In forward model experiments, a localized density increase over the Irminger Sea increases the overturning over both sides of the basin due to dense waters spreading to the Labrador Sea. Conversely, a localized density increase over the Labrador Sea only increases the overturning for the western basin and instead eventually decreases the overturning for the eastern basin. Labrador Sea density provides a useful overturning metric by its direct control of the overturning over the western side and lower latitudes of the subpolar basin.</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: overturning, subpolar North Atlantic, North Atlantic Oscillation, boundary density
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2022 07:59
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2023 02:42
DOI: 10.1029/2021JC017732
Open Access URL: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.102...
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URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3154015