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Science. 2007 Aug 17;317(5840):938-41.

Observed flow compensation associated with the MOC at 26.5 degrees N in the Atlantic.

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1
National Oceanography Centre, Empress Dock, Southampton, SO14 3ZH, UK. tok@noc.soton.ac.uk

Abstract

The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC), which provides one-quarter of the global meridional heat transport, is composed of a number of separate flow components. How changes in the strength of each of those components may affect that of the others has been unclear because of a lack of adequate data. We continuously observed the MOC at 26.5 degrees N for 1 year using end-point measurements of density, bottom pressure, and ocean currents; cable measurements across the Straits of Florida; and wind stress. The different transport components largely compensate for each other, thus confirming the validity of our monitoring approach. The MOC varied over the period of observation by +/-5.7 x 10(6) cubic meters per second, with density-inferred and wind-driven transports contributing equally to it. We find evidence for depth-independent compensation for the wind-driven surface flow.

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PMID:
17702941
DOI:
10.1126/science.1141293
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