Atlantic overturning in decline?
To link to this article DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2050
Global ocean circulation is an important factor in climate variability and change. In particular, changes in the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) have been implicated in ancient climate events, as well as in recent climate anomalies such as the rapid warming of the North Atlantic Ocean in the mid-1990s. A series of moored current meters and temperature sensors deployed in the Atlantic at 26° N known as the RAPID-MOCHA array has been used to monitor the strength of meridional overturning since 2004. The data indicate a decline in this strength over the period 2004–20123. Here, using additional observations and climate model simulations we suggest that this measured decline is not merely a short-term fluctuation, but is part of a substantial reduction in meridional overturning occurring on a decadal timescale.