The Variability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation in the Bergen Climate Model - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Climate Year : 2005

The Variability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation in the Bergen Climate Model

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Abstract

The link between the interannual to interdecadal variability of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) and the atmospheric forcing is investigated using 200 yr of a control simulation of the Bergen Climate Model, where the mean circulation cell is rather realistic, as is also the location of deep convection in the northern North Atlantic. The AMOC variability has a slightly red frequency spectrum and is primarily forced by the atmosphere. The maximum value of the AMOC is mostly sensitive to the deep convection in the Irminger Sea, which it lags by about 5 yr. The latter is mostly forced by a succession of atmospheric patterns that induce anomalous northerly winds over the area. The impact of the North Atlantic Oscillation on deep convection in the Labrador and Greenland Seas is represented realistically, but its influence on the AMOC is limited to the interannual time scale and is primarily associated with wind forcing. The tropical Pacific shows a strong variability in the model, with too strong an influence on the North Atlantic. However, its influence on the tropical Atlantic is realistic. Based on lagged correlations and the release of fictitious Lagrangian drifters, the tropical Pacific seems to influence the AMOC with a time lag of about 40 yr. The mechanism is as follows: El Niño events induce positive sea surface salinity anomalies in the tropical Atlantic that are advected northward, circulate in the subtropical gyre, and then subduct. In the ocean interior, part of the salinity anomaly is advected along the North Atlantic current, eventually reaching the Irminger and Labrador Seas after about 35 yr where they destabilize the water column and favor deep convection.

Dates and versions

hal-00122304 , version 1 (29-12-2006)

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Juliette Mignot, Claude Frankignoul. The Variability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation in the Bergen Climate Model. Journal of Climate, 2005, 18 (13), pp.2361-2375. ⟨10.1175/JCLI3405.1⟩. ⟨hal-00122304⟩
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