• decadal variability;
  • Southern Ocean circulation;
  • Southern Annular Mode

[1] Previous studies demonstrated the remarkable upward trend of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and Southern Ocean wind stress in association with anthropogenic forcing. An oceanic reanalysis data set is used to investigate the response of the circulation in the Southern Ocean to the decadal variability of SAM. Our results indicate the strengthening and the poleward shift of the northward Ekman velocity as well as the Ekman pumping rate, which led to a corresponding strengthening trend in the Deacon Cell. This strengthening, in turn, intensified the meridional density gradient and the tilting of the isopycnal surfaces. On the interannual time scale, the Antarctic Circumpolar Currents (ACC) transport exhibits a positive correlation with SAM index as seen separately in observations. However, there is no significant trend in the total transport of ACC. Possible reasons are discussed.