Atlantic meridional heat transports computed from balancing Earth's energy locally

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation plays a major role in moving heat and carbon around in the ocean. A new estimate of ocean heat transports for 2000 through 2013 throughout the Atlantic is derived. Top-of-atmosphere radiation is combined with atmospheric reanalyses to estimate surface heat fluxes and combined with vertically integrated ocean heat content to estimate ocean heat transport divergence as a residual. Atlantic peak northward ocean heat transports average 1.18 +/- 0.13PW (1 sigma) at 15 degrees N but vary considerably in latitude and time. Results agree well with observational estimates at 26.5 degrees N from the RAPID array, but for 2004-2013 the meridional heat transport is 1.00 +/- 0.11PW versus 1.23 +/- 0.11PW for RAPID. In addition, these results have no hint of a trend, unlike the RAPID results. Strong westerlies north of a meridian drive ocean currents and an ocean heat loss into the atmosphere that is exacerbated by a decrease in ocean heat transport northward.

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Copyright 2017 American Geophysical Union.


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Author Trenberth, Kevin E.
Fasullo, John T.
Publisher UCAR/NCAR - Library
Publication Date 2017-02-28T00:00:00
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Topic Category geoscientificInformation
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Metadata Date 2023-08-18T19:11:04.855565
Metadata Record Identifier edu.ucar.opensky::articles:19530
Metadata Language eng; USA
Suggested Citation Trenberth, Kevin E., Fasullo, John T.. (2017). Atlantic meridional heat transports computed from balancing Earth's energy locally. UCAR/NCAR - Library. http://n2t.net/ark:/85065/d79k4d25. Accessed 18 June 2024.

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