EGU21-10159, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Mechanisms linking the Labrador Sea with subtropical Atlantic overturning

Yavor Kostov1, Marie-José Messias1, Helen Johnson2, Herlé Mercier3, and David Marshall2
Yavor Kostov et al.
  • 1University of Exeter
  • 2University of Oxford

We analyze the causal chain linking sea surface buoyancy anomalies in the Labrador Sea and variability in the subtropical Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) in the ECCO ocean state estimate on inter-annual timescales. Our study highlights the importance of Lower North Atlantic Deep Water (LNADW) for the north-south connectivity in the Atlantic Ocean. We identify important mechanisms that allow the Labrador Sea to impact the southward transport of LNADW. We show that NAC plays an essential role in the export of buoyancy anomalies from the Labrador Sea – and it furthermore exerts a positive feedback that amplifies these upper ocean anomalies in the eastern subpolar gyre – before they reach the denser water masses along the lower limb of the AMOC. Our results also highlight the contribution of the western Labrador Sea for the surface uptake of tracers that penetrate the LNADW near Denmark Strait, which has implications for the redistribution of ocean heat anomalies.

How to cite: Kostov, Y., Messias, M.-J., Johnson, H., Mercier, H., and Marshall, D.: Mechanisms linking the Labrador Sea with subtropical Atlantic overturning, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10159,, 2021.

Corresponding presentation materials formerly uploaded have been withdrawn.