Improving Understanding of the Agulhas Current and Its Global Climate Impacts: Working Group on the Climatic Importance of the Greater Agulhas System; Portland, Oregon, 20–21 February 2010



The first meeting of the new Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) Working Group 136 was held to discuss recent developments in understanding the greater Agulhas Current system and future research directions. The overarching goal of the working group is to improve understanding and awareness of the regional and global climate impacts of the Agulhas Current, a major western boundary current that flows along the east coast of Africa, and its interocean leakage.

In addition to studying modern circulation, the working group is motivated by recent paleodata that suggest that through the currents' southern influence on the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), changes in the leakage of warm and salty Agulhas waters into the Atlantic may have triggered the end of ice ages. In terms of global climate, this arguably puts the importance of the greater Agulhas system on a par with Heinrich (land-ice release) events and high-latitude deepwater formation.