An Outsized Role for the Labrador Sea in the Multidecadal Variability of the Atlantic Overturning Circulation

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Stephen Gerald Yeager, Fred Castruccio, Ping Chang, Gokhan Danabasoglu, Elizabeth Maroon, Justin Small, Hong Wang, Lixin Wu, Shaoqing Zhang


Climate models are essential tools for investigating intrinsic North Atlantic variability related to variations in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), but recent observations have called into question the fidelity of models that emphasize the importance of
Labrador Sea processes. A multi-century pre-industrial climate simulation that resolves ocean mesoscale eddies has a realistic representation of key observed subpolar Atlantic phenomena,
including the dominance of density-space overturning in the eastern subpolar gyre, and thus provides uniquely credible context for interpreting short observational records. Despite weak mean surface diapycnal transformation in the Labrador Sea, multidecadal AMOC variability can be traced to anomalous production of dense Labrador Sea Water with local buoyancy forcing in the interior Labrador Sea playing a significant driving role.



Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Labrador Sea, AMOC, OSNAP, Atlantic Multidecadal Variability


Published: 2021-06-15 03:58

Last Updated: 2021-10-07 06:11

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