Skip to content

« Return to News

Detection of AMOC changes and their potential impact on sea level and storm surges over the U.S. East Coast

February 6th, 2024

Liping Zhang and Hiroyuki Murakami, scientists at GFDL, have been awarded funding for a new climate projections project that will spotlight the critical issue of extreme sea level events along the U.S. East Coast, emphasizing their societal impact. These events, often fueled by storm surges during extreme weather occurrences, substantially threaten lives and infrastructure in coastal regions.

South Carolina National Guard

This study zeroes in on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) as a key player in influencing mean sea level variations and weather events. By employing a comprehensive approach that incorporates observations, sophisticated simulations, and extensive datasets, the researchers aim to discern the intricate links between AMOC, sea level changes, and weather patterns, particularly on decadal timescales. The ultimate goal is to develop predictive capabilities for sea level changes, offering insights that can inform strategies to mitigate the impact of these events on the U.S. East Coast.

The significance of this project (“Detection of AMOC changes and their potential impact on sea level and storm surges over the  U.S. East Coast”) extends beyond scientific inquiry, directly addressing societal concerns related to coastal inundation. The research will enhance our understanding of the reversibility of changes in extreme sea level events and predict mean sea level characteristics over multiyear to decadal timescales. The anticipated outcomes promise valuable contributions to the improvement of predictive skills and a deeper understanding of the complex interplay between AMOC and these events, crucial for informed decision-making in coastal regions. Funding for this project is provided by the NOAA Climate Program Office, MAPP program.