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Surface wind-stress threshold for glacial Atlantic overturning



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Montoya Redondo, María Luisa and Levermann, Anders (2008) Surface wind-stress threshold for glacial Atlantic overturning. Geophysical research letters, 35 (3). ISSN 0094-8276

[thumbnail of montoya08libre.pdf]

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2007GL032560


Using a coupled model of intermediate complexity the sensitivity of the last glacial maximum (LGM) Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) to the strength of surface wind-stress is investigated. A threshold is found below which North Atlantic deep water formation (DWF) takes place south of Greenland and the AMOC is relatively weak. Above this threshold, DWF occurs north of the Greenland-Scotland ridge, leading to a vigorous AMOC. This nonlinear behavior is explained through enhanced salt transport by the wind-driven gyre circulation and the overturning itself. Both pattern and magnitude of the Nordic Sea's temperature difference between strong and weak AMOC states are consistent with those reconstructed for abrupt climate changes of the last glacial period. Our results thus point to a potentially relevant role of surface winds in these phenomena.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:

© 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
M. M. was funded by the Ramón y Cajal Program and project CGL2005-06097/CLI of the Spanish Ministry for Science and Education. We are grateful to J. R. Toggweiler for constructive criticism which has improved this manuscript.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Thermohaline circulation; Intermediate complexity; System model; Climate; Greenland; Ocean; Performance; Dynamics; Earth
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Sciences > Physics > Astronomy
ID Code:37929
Deposited On:30 May 2016 14:15
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:05

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