Meridional Overturning Circulation

North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

The meridional overturning circulation (MOC) is a global circulation cell wherein surface waters in the high latitudes are cooled, thereby becoming denser; this dense water sinks and flows towards the equatorial regions. In tropical and subtropical regions around the world these waters eventually mix with other waters, becoming less dense, and they return to the sea surface to ultimately flow towards the higher latitudes and complete the cell. In the North Atlantic, AOML contributes to the programs listed below that quantify the transport of the MOC, its heat transport and components of the circulation that dominate the MOC variability.


Evaluating the Ocean Observing System: Quarterly Reports on the Meridional Heat Transport Variability in the Atlantic Ocean

Molly Baringer, Silvia Garzoli, and Gustavo Goni

Quarterly reports assessing the state of the Atlantic oceanic heat transport derived using data collected from high density XBT lines AX7 and AX18 part of the NOAA/OCO Global Observing System for the North and South Atlantic. Go

Western Boundary Time Series

Molly Baringer, Christopher Meinen, and Silvia Garzoli

This project consists of two components to monitor the western boundary currents in the subtropical Atlantic: the Florida Current transport measurements using a submarine telephone cable plus calibration cruises and the Deep Western Boundary Current transport and property measurements using dedicated research ship time and moorings. Go

Meridional Overturning Circulation and Heat-flux Array (MOCHA)

Molly Baringer

The international MOCHA program has deployed a system that will continuously observe the meridional mass and heat transport in the subtropical Atlantic. This system will document the variability of the subtropical Atlantic. Go