EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The mean state and variability of the North Atlantic circulation: a perspective from ocean reanalyses

Laura Jackson1, Clotilde Dubois2,3, Gael Forget4, Keith Haines5, Matt Harrison6, Dorotea Iovino7, Armin Kohl8, Davi Mignac5, Ssimona Masina7, Drew Peterson1,9, Christopher Piecuch10, Chris Roberts11, Jon Robson12, Andrea Storto7,13, Takahiro Toyoda14, Maria Valdivieso5, Chris Wilson15, Yiguo Wang16, and Hao Zuo11
Laura Jackson et al.
  • 1Met Office, Exeter, UK
  • 2Mercator Ocean International, Ramonville-Saint-Agne, France
  • 3Météo France, Toulouse, France
  • 4Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 5University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • 6Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, NJ, USA
  • 7Foundation Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change, Bologna, Italy
  • 8University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • 9Environment and Climate Change Canada, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
  • 10Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, USA
  • 11European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, UK
  • 12NCAS, Reading, UK
  • 13NATO STO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation, La Spezia, Italy
  • 14Japan Meteorological Agency, Tsukuba, Japan
  • 15National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool, UK
  • 16Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre/BjerknesCenter for Climate Research, Norway

The observational network around the North Atlantic has improved significantly over the last few decades with the advent of Argo and satellite observations, and the more recent efforts to monitor the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) using arrays such as RAPID and OSNAP. These have shown decadal timescale changes across the North Atlantic including in heat content, heat transport and the circulation. 

However there are still significant gaps in the observational coverage, and significant uncertainties around some observational products. Ocean reanalyses integrate the observations with a dynamically consistent ocean model and are potentially tools that can be used to understand the observed changes. However the suitability of the reanalyses for the task must also be assessed.
We use an ensemble of global ocean reanalyses in comparison with observations in order to examine the mean state and interannual-decadal variability of the North Atlantic ocean since 1993. We assess how well the reanalyses are able to capture different processes and whether any understanding can be inferred. In particular we look at ocean heat content, transports, the AMOC and gyre strengths, water masses and convection. 


How to cite: Jackson, L., Dubois, C., Forget, G., Haines, K., Harrison, M., Iovino, D., Kohl, A., Mignac, D., Masina, S., Peterson, D., Piecuch, C., Roberts, C., Robson, J., Storto, A., Toyoda, T., Valdivieso, M., Wilson, C., Wang, Y., and Zuo, H.: The mean state and variability of the North Atlantic circulation: a perspective from ocean reanalyses, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5575,, 2020.


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