Rapid climate change associated with the AMOC

Research Area: Rapid climate change associated with the AMOC

In the top 1000 metres of the North Atlantic the currents carry heat toward the Arctic. Beneath this poleward flowing current there is an equal and opposite return flow. These currents are referred to as the Thermohaline Circulation (THC) of the North Atlantic. The RAPID-Watch programme has deployed a series of moorings across the North Atlantic at 26°N and moorings off the coast of Nova Scotia at 43°N to measure, for the very first time, the amount of heat carried poleward by the upper ocean currents. Historical climate data indicates that at the end of the last ice age the strength of the THC was much weaker than today leading to a much colder climate for northern western Europe. Data collected by the RAPID-Watch project reveals how the THC is varying, providing a benchmark for the equivalent model derived THC, thereby reducing the uncertainty of future predictions of the strength of this current system.

Contact Name: 
Meric Srokosz, Aurelie Duchez