Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program: a new international ocean observing system

Type Article
Date 2017-04
Language English
Author(s) Lozier M. Susan1, Bacon Sheldon2, Bower Amy S.3, Cunningham Stuart A.4, de Jong M. Femke1, 5, 6, de Steur Laura5, 6, Deyoung Brad7, Fischer Juergen8, Gary Stefan F.4, Greenan Blair J. W.9, Heimbach Patrick10, Holliday Naomi P.2, Houpert Loic4, Inall Mark E.4, Johns William E.11, Johnson Helen L.12, Karstensen Johannes8, Li Feili1, Lin Xiaopei13, Mackay Neill14, Marshall David P.12, Mercier HerleORCID15, Myers Paul G.16, Pickart Robert S.3, Pillar Helen R.17, Straneo Fiammetta3, Thierry VirginieORCID20, Weller Robert A.3, Williams Richard G.18, Wilson Chris14, Yang Jiayan3, Zhao Jian3, Zika Jan D.19
Affiliation(s) 1 : Duke Univ, Durham, NC 27708 USA.
2 : Natl Oceanog Ctr, Southampton, Hants, England.
3 : Woods Hole Oceanog Inst, Woods Hole, MA 02543 USA.
4 : Scottish Assoc Marine Sci, Oban, Argyll, Scotland.
5 : Royal Netherlands Inst Sea Res, Texel, Netherlands.
6 : Univ Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands.
7 : Mem Univ, St John, NF, Canada.
8 : GEOMAR Helmholtz Ctr Ocean Res, Kiel, Germany.
9 : Bedford Inst Oceanog, Dartmouth, NS, Canada.
10 : Univ Texas Austin, Austin, TX 78712 USA.
11 : Univ Miami, Miami, FL USA.
12 : Univ Oxford, Oxford, England.
13 : Ocean Univ China, Qingdao Natl Labora tory Marine Sci & Technol, Qingdao, Peoples R China.
14 : Natl Oceanog Ctr, Liverpool, Merseyside, England.
15 : CNRS, Lab Ocean Phys & Satellite Oceanog, Ifremer Ctr Bretagne, Plouzane, France.
16 : Univ Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
17 : Univ Copenhagen, Niels Bohr Inst, Copenhagen, Denmark.
18 : Univ Liverpool, Liverpool, Merseyside, England.
19 : Imperial Coll London, London, England.
Source Bulletin Of The American Meteorological Society (0003-0007) (Amer Meteorological Soc), 2017-04 , Vol. 98 , N. 4 , P. 737-752
DOI 10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0057.1
WOS© Times Cited 108
Abstract A new ocean observing system has been launched in the North Atlantic in order to understand the linkage between the meridional overturning circulation and deep water formation.

For decades oceanographers have understood the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) to be primarily driven by changes in the production of deep water formation in the subpolar and subarctic North Atlantic. Indeed, current IPCC projections of an AMOC slowdown in the 21st century based on climate models are attributed to the inhibition of deep convection in the North Atlantic. However, observational evidence for this linkage has been elusive: there has been no clear demonstration of AMOC variability in response to changes in deep water formation. The motivation for understanding this linkage is compelling since the overturning circulation has been shown to sequester heat and anthropogenic carbon in the deep ocean. Furthermore, AMOC variability is expected to impact this sequestration as well as have consequences for regional and global climates through its effect on the poleward transport of warm water. Motivated by the need for a mechanistic understanding of the AMOC, an international community has assembled an observing system, Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic (OSNAP), to provide a continuous record of the trans-basin fluxes of heat, mass and freshwater and to link that record to convective activity and water mass transformation at high latitudes. OSNAP, in conjunction with the RAPID/MOCHA array at 26°N and other observational elements, will provide a comprehensive measure of the three-dimensional AMOC and an understanding of what drives its variability. The OSNAP observing system was fully deployed in the summer of 2014 and the first OSNAP data products are expected in the fall of 2017.
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Lozier M. Susan, Bacon Sheldon, Bower Amy S., Cunningham Stuart A., de Jong M. Femke, de Steur Laura, Deyoung Brad, Fischer Juergen, Gary Stefan F., Greenan Blair J. W., Heimbach Patrick, Holliday Naomi P., Houpert Loic, Inall Mark E., Johns William E., Johnson Helen L., Karstensen Johannes, Li Feili, Lin Xiaopei, Mackay Neill, Marshall David P., Mercier Herle, Myers Paul G., Pickart Robert S., Pillar Helen R., Straneo Fiammetta, Thierry Virginie, Weller Robert A., Williams Richard G., Wilson Chris, Yang Jiayan, Zhao Jian, Zika Jan D. (2017). Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program: a new international ocean observing system. Bulletin Of The American Meteorological Society, 98(4), 737-752. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0057.1 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00358/46881/