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Geophysical Research Letters

Eddy-induced variability of the meridional overturning circulation in a model of the North Atlantic

Authors

  • M. D. Thomas,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
    2. Now at Laboratoire de Physique des Océans, CNRS-Ifremer-IRD-UBO, IUEM, Plouzané, France
    • Corresponding author: M. D. Thomas, Laboratoire de Physique des Océans, UMR 5623, CNRS-Ifremer-IRD-UBO, IUEM, Plouzané, France. (Matthew.Thomas@ifremer.fr)

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  • X. Zhai

    1. School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
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Abstract

[1] Observations of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) show that it varies on all timescales. Here we isolate the contribution of eddies to AMOC variability using an eddy-permitting model of the North Atlantic driven by climatological and steady forcing. The eddy-induced AMOC variability is found to be ubiquitous and significant at all latitudes, with a magnitude comparable to the seasonal cycle in the subtropics. Furthermore, the eddy-induced AMOC variability is manifested not only at high frequencies but also at interannual and longer timescales. These results imply that a significant fraction of the AMOC variability is inherently unpredictable at seasonal to interannual timescales.

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