Impact of Labrador Sea convection on the North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation


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dc.contributor.author Pickart, Robert S.
dc.contributor.author Spall, Michael A.
dc.date.accessioned 2010-12-02T16:51:05Z
dc.date.available 2010-12-02T16:51:05Z
dc.date.issued 2007-09
dc.identifier.citation Journal of Physical Oceanography 37 (2007): 2207-2227 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1912/4158
dc.description Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2007. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 37 (2007): 2207-2227, doi:10.1175/jpo3178.1. en_US
dc.description.abstract The overturning and horizontal circulations of the Labrador Sea are deduced from a composite vertical section across the basin. The data come from the late-spring/early-summer occupations of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) AR7W line, during the years 1990–97. This time period was chosen because it corresponded to intense wintertime convection—the deepest and densest in the historical record—suggesting that the North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC) would be maximally impacted. The composite geostrophic velocity section was referenced using a mean lateral velocity profile from float data and then subsequently adjusted to balance mass. The analysis was done in depth space to determine the net sinking that results from convection and in density space to determine the diapycnal mass flux (i.e., the transformation of light water to Labrador Sea Water). The mean overturning cell is calculated to be 1 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1), as compared with a horizontal gyre of 18 Sv. The total water mass transformation is 2 Sv. These values are consistent with recent modeling results. The diagnosed heat flux of 37.6 TW is found to result predominantly from the horizontal circulation, both in depth space and density space. These results suggest that the North Atlantic MOC is not largely impacted by deep convection in the Labrador Sea. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This work was funded by the National Science Foundation through Grants OCE-0450658 (RP) and OCE-024978 (MS). en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher American Meteorological Society en_US
dc.relation.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/jpo3178.1
dc.subject Convection en_US
dc.subject Ocean circulation en_US
dc.subject North Atlantic en_US
dc.title Impact of Labrador Sea convection on the North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1175/jpo3178.1

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