GFDL - Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

The Atlantic Ocean and Global Climate

The Atlantic Ocean plays an important role in the global climate system. Extending from the Southern Ocean to theIMAGE FOR NORTH ATLANTIC SST FROM CM26 RESCALED 250 150 Arctic, this ocean provides an important role in the climate system by transporting heat from the Southern Hemisphere and tropics into the Northern hemisphere. This transport helps to maintain the mean climate state. Variations in this heat transport can have important climatic impacts on a range of time scales, from inter annual to decadal to millennial. An important component of this heat transport is the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). This circulation involves the northward movement of approximately 16-18 million cubic meters of water per second, with an associated heat transport of 1.3 Petawatts (one Petawatt = 1 million billion Watts). A crucial goal of climate research is to better understand the mechanisms responsible for interannual to decadal scale changes in the Atlantic Ocean, including the role of the AMOC as well as other important processes.



The central role of ocean dynamics in connecting the North Atlantic Oscillation to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (Delworth et al., submitted to J Climate)

The North Atlantic Oscillation as a driver of rapid climate change  (Delworth et al., 2016)

Connections between the North Atlantic Oscillation, the AMOC and Hemispheric Climate (Delworth et al., 2016)

Atlantic climate change in a high-resolution climate model (Saba et al., 2016)

Impact of the North Atlantic on the Southern Ocean (Zhang et al., 2016)

Predicting North Atlantic decadal variability (Msadek et al, 2014)

Observed and simulated ocean heat transport in the North Atlantic (Msadek et al., 2013)

Early work on interdecadal variability of the AMOC (Delworth et al., 1993)