Toyoda Takahiro

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Toyoda
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Takahiro
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The mean state and variability of the North Atlantic circulation: a perspective from ocean reanalyses

2019-11-06 , Jackson, Laura , Dubois, Clotilde , Forget, Gael , Haines, Keith , Harrison, Matthew , Iovino, Doroteaciro , Toyoda, Takahiro , Kohl, Armin , Mignac, Davi , Masina, Simona , Peterson, K. Andrew , Piecuch, Christopher G. , Roberts, Chris , Robson, Jon , Storto, Andrea , Toyoda, Takahiro , Valdivieso, Maria , Wilson, Christopher G. , Wang, Yiguo , Zuo, Hao

The observational network around the North Atlantic has improved significantly over the last few decades with subsurface profiling floats and satellite observations and the recent efforts to monitor the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). These have shown decadal time scale changes across the North Atlantic including in heat content, heat transport, and the circulation. However, there are still significant gaps in the observational coverage. Ocean reanalyses integrate the observations with a dynamically consistent ocean model and can be used to understand the observed changes. However, the ability of the reanalyses to represent the dynamics must also be assessed. We use an ensemble of global ocean reanalyses to examine the time mean state and interannual‐decadal variability of the North Atlantic ocean since 1993. We assess how well the reanalyses are able to capture processes and whether any understanding can be gained. In particular, we examine aspects of the circulation including convection, AMOC and gyre strengths, and transports. We find that reanalyses show some consistency, in particular showing a weakening of the subpolar gyre and AMOC at 50°N from the mid‐1990s until at least 2009 (related to decadal variability in previous studies), a strengthening and then weakening of the AMOC at 26.5°N since 2000, and impacts of circulation changes on transports. These results agree with model studies and the AMOC observations at 26.5°N since 2005. We also see less spread across the ensemble in AMOC strength and mixed layer depth, suggesting improvements as the observational coverage has improved.