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Slowdown and Recovery of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and a Persistent North Atlantic Warming Hole Induced by Arctic Sea Ice Decline

Brady S. Ferster 1 Amélie Simon 1 Alexey V. Fedorov 1, 2 Juliette Mignot 1 Éric Guilyardi 1 
1 VARCLIM - Océan et variabilité du climat
LOCEAN - Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat : Expérimentations et Approches Numériques
Abstract : We investigate the impact of Arctic sea ice loss on the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) and North Atlantic climate in a coupled general circulation model (IPSL-CM5A2) perturbation experiment, wherein Arctic sea ice is reduced until reaching an equilibrium of an ice-free summer. After several decades we observe AMOC weakening caused by reduced dense water formation in the Iceland basin due to the warming of surface waters, and later compensated by intensification of dense water formation in the Western Subpolar North Atlantic. Consequently, AMOC slightly weakens in deep, dense waters but recovers through shallower, less dense waters overturning. In parallel, wind-driven intensification and southeastward expansion of the subpolar gyre cause a depth-extended cold anomaly ∼2°C around 50°N that resembles the North Atlantic "warming hole." We conclude that compensating dense water formations drive AMOC changes following sea ice retreat and that a warming hole can develop independently of the AMOC modulation.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03778097
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 15, 2022 - 1:20:23 PM
Last modification on : Friday, October 14, 2022 - 3:54:16 AM

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Brady S. Ferster, Amélie Simon, Alexey V. Fedorov, Juliette Mignot, Éric Guilyardi. Slowdown and Recovery of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and a Persistent North Atlantic Warming Hole Induced by Arctic Sea Ice Decline. Geophysical Research Letters, 2022, 49 (16), pp.e2022GL097967. ⟨10.1029/2022GL097967⟩. ⟨insu-03778097⟩

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