There have been many efforts to understand the role of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) as a potential predictor of decadal climate variability. A recent study suggested that inter-hemispheric AMOC variability plays a crucial role in generating an inter-hemispheric distribution of heat and moisture in the atmosphere, with important consequences on global monsoon circulations. In particular, the study stressed that anomalous AMOC could produce an inter-hemispheric pattern of upper ocean heat content anomalies in the tropical Atlantic. In turn, this could force a thermally direct anomalous inter-hemispheric Hadley circulation in the atmosphere, thereby influencing decadal variability of global monsoon circulation. These results led to the overall goal of this work, which is to enhance our understanding of the AMOC variability, flow pathways, and its potential role in modulating climate variability and high-impact extreme weather events on decadal timescales.
Examples of specific research topics include Diagnose internal variability of AMOC flow pathways in coupled general circulation models, exploring interannual variability of AMOC and its potential influence on regional climate and weather, and studying the relative roles of the South and North Atlantic AMOC on modulating global monsoon circulation and extreme weather events at decadal-to-multidecadal timescales.
Lopez H, et al: Remote influence of Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation on the South Atlantic meridional overturning circulation variability. Geophysical Research Letter 43: 8250-8258, 2016, doi:10.1002/2016GL069067
Lopez H, et al: Decadal modulations of Interhemispheric Global Atmospheric Circulations and Monsoons by the South Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Journal of Climate 29: 1831-1851, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0491.1, 2016
Global thermohaline circulation; Monsoon; Global warming; Ocean-atmosphere coupled general circulation model; Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC); Extreme weather;