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Ocean heat storage rate unaffected by MOC weakening in an idealized climate model

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Title: Ocean heat storage rate unaffected by MOC weakening in an idealized climate model
Authors: Shatwell, P
Czaja, A
Ferreira, D
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: To study the role of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) in transient climate change, we perform an abrupt CO2‐doubling experiment using a coupled atmosphere‐ocean‐ice model with a simple geometry that separates the ocean into small and large basins. The small basin exhibits an overturning circulation akin to the AMOC. Over the simulated 200 years of change, it stores heat at a faster rate than the large basin by 0.6 ± 0.2 W m−2. We argue that this is due to the small basin MOC. However, we find that as the MOC weakens significantly, it has little impact on the small basin's heat storage rate. We suggest this is due to the effects of both compensating warming patterns and interbasin heat transports. Thus, although the presence of a MOC is important for enhanced heat storage, MOC weakening is surprisingly unimportant.
Issue Date: 28-Aug-2020
Date of Acceptance: 27-Jul-2020
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/82661
DOI: 10.1029/2020gl089849
ISSN: 0094-8276
Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Start Page: 1
End Page: 9
Journal / Book Title: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 47
Issue: 16
Copyright Statement: ©2020. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Global Warming
Climate Change
Ocean heat storage
Ocean circulation
Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2020-08-17
Appears in Collections:Space and Atmospheric Physics
Grantham Institute for Climate Change
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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