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Publication Date
12 October 2022

Freshwater flux variability lengthens the period of the low-frequency AMOC variability



Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) exhibits interdecadal to multidecadal variability, yet the role of surface freshwater flux (FWF) variability in this AMOC variability remains unclear. This study isolates the contribution of FWF variability in modulating AMOC through a partially coupled experiment, in which the effect of the interactive FWF is disabled. It is demonstrated that the impact of the coupled FWF variability enhances the persistence of density and deep convection anomalies in the Labrador Sea (LS), thus lengthening the period of the AMOC oscillation on multidecadal timescale and suppressing its ∼30-year periodicity. Further lead-lag regressions illuminate that the more persistent LS density anomalies are maintained by two mechanisms: (a) The local temperature-salinity coupling through the evaporation and (b) a downstream propagation along the East Greenland Current of the extra salinity anomaly due to the sea ice melting changes associated with an atmosphere forcing over the southern Greenland tip. 

Liu, Fukai, Jian Lu, Young-Oh Kwon, Claude Frankignoul, and Yiyong Luo. 2022. “Freshwater Flux Variability Lengthens The Period Of The Low-Frequency Amoc Variability”. Geophysical Research Letters 49. doi:10.1029/2022GL100136.
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