Jackson Laura

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  • Article
    The mean state and variability of the North Atlantic circulation: a perspective from ocean reanalyses
    (American Geophysical Union, 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.
  • Article
    Atlantic meridional overturning circulation: Observed transport and variability
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-06-07) Frajka-Williams, Eleanor ; Ansorge, Isabelle ; Baehr, Johanna ; Bryden, Harry L. ; Chidichimo, Maria Paz ; Cunningham, Stuart A. ; Danabasoglu, Gokhan ; Dong, Shenfu ; Donohue, Kathleen A. ; Elipot, Shane ; Heimbach, Patrick ; Holliday, Naomi Penny ; Hummels, Rebecca ; Jackson, Laura C. ; Karstensen, Johannes ; Lankhorst, Matthias ; Le Bras, Isabela A. ; Lozier, M. Susan ; McDonagh, Elaine L. ; Meinen, Christopher S. ; Mercier, Herlé ; Moat, Bengamin I. ; Perez, Renellys ; Piecuch, Christopher G. ; Rhein, Monika ; Srokosz, Meric ; Trenberth, Kevin E. ; Bacon, Sheldon ; Forget, Gael ; Goni, Gustavo J. ; Kieke, Dagmar ; Koelling, Jannes ; Lamont, Tarron ; McCarthy, Gerard D. ; Mertens, Christian ; Send, Uwe ; Smeed, David A. ; Speich, Sabrina ; van den Berg, Marcel ; Volkov, Denis L. ; Wilson, Christopher G.
    The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) extends from the Southern Ocean to the northern North Atlantic, transporting heat northwards throughout the South and North Atlantic, and sinking carbon and nutrients into the deep ocean. Climate models indicate that changes to the AMOC both herald and drive climate shifts. Intensive trans-basin AMOC observational systems have been put in place to continuously monitor meridional volume transport variability, and in some cases, heat, freshwater and carbon transport. These observational programs have been used to diagnose the magnitude and origins of transport variability, and to investigate impacts of variability on essential climate variables such as sea surface temperature, ocean heat content and coastal sea level. AMOC observing approaches vary between the different systems, ranging from trans-basin arrays (OSNAP, RAPID 26°N, 11°S, SAMBA 34.5°S) to arrays concentrating on western boundaries (e.g., RAPID WAVE, MOVE 16°N). In this paper, we outline the different approaches (aims, strengths and limitations) and summarize the key results to date. We also discuss alternate approaches for capturing AMOC variability including direct estimates (e.g., using sea level, bottom pressure, and hydrography from autonomous profiling floats), indirect estimates applying budgetary approaches, state estimates or ocean reanalyses, and proxies. Based on the existing observations and their results, and the potential of new observational and formal synthesis approaches, we make suggestions as to how to evaluate a comprehensive, future-proof observational network of the AMOC to deepen our understanding of the AMOC and its role in global climate.