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Keywords:

  • Atlantic meridional overturning;
  • Lagrangian analysis

[1] Current research indicates an increase in Agulhas leakage for the past and coming decades. This change potentially alters the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, in particular, through advection of positive density anomalies into the North Atlantic. To explore the fate of Agulhas leakage, results from a Lagrangian analysis were evaluated, with virtual floats advected within an eddy-permitting ocean model (ORCA025). A considerable fraction of Agulhas leakage reached the subtropical North Atlantic: of a mean Agulhas leakage transport of 15.3 Sv entering the South Atlantic, 9.7, 7.7, and 6.1 Sv crossed sections at 6°S, 6°N, and 26°N, respectively. The most probable transit time of leakage to reach the respective latitudes is one to two decades. We suggest that changes in Agulhas leakage could manifest in the Gulf Stream regime most probably within two decades. These results were supported by an eddy-resolving implementation of the ocean model (INALT01).