On the subarctic North Atlantic cooling due to global warming

Hyerim Kim, Soon-Il An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Various ocean reanalysis data reveal that the subarctic Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) has been cooling during the twentieth century. A similar cooling pattern is found in the doubling CO2 experiment obtained from the CMIP3 (coupled model intercomparison project third phase) compared to the pre-industrial experiment. Here, in order to investigate the main driver of this cooling, we perform the heat budget analysis on the subarctic Atlantic upper ocean temperature. The net surface heat flux associated with the increased concentration of greenhouse gases heats the subarctic ocean surface. In the most of models, the longwave radiation, latent heat flux, and sensible heat flux exert a warming effect, and the shortwave radiation exerts a cooling effect. On the other hand, the thermal advection by the meridional current reduces the subarctic upper ocean temperature in all models. This cold advection is attributed to the weakening of the meridional overturning circulation, which is related to the reduction in the ocean surface density. In particular, greater warming of the surface air than of the sea surface results in the reduction of surface evaporation and thereby enhanced freshening of the ocean surface water, while precipitation change was smaller than evaporation change. The thermal advections by both the wind-driven Ekman current and the density-driven geostrophic current contribute to cooling in most of the models, where the heat transport by the geostrophic current tends to be larger than that by the Ekman current.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalTheoretical and Applied Climatology
Volume114
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 1

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global warming
sea surface
cooling
advection
upper ocean
warming
evaporation
shortwave radiation
heat budget
meridional circulation
longwave radiation
latent heat flux
sensible heat flux
twentieth century
heat flux
greenhouse gas
sea surface temperature
experiment
surface water
air

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

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On the subarctic North Atlantic cooling due to global warming. / Kim, Hyerim; An, Soon-Il.

In: Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Vol. 114, No. 1-2, 01.01.2013, p. 9-19.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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