By Sang-Ki Lee
A new study led by researchers from University of Miami, NOAA-AOML, IFM-GEOMAR, and NCAR explores why the Atlantic Ocean has warmed substantially more than any other ocean basin since the 1950s. The research article published in the Geophysical Research letters evidences that the observed large warming of the Atlantic Ocean since the 1950s is largely induced by an increase in the inter-ocean heat transport from the Indian Ocean via the Agulhas leakage. The study points to an important role played by the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) in the South Atlantic in enhancing the secular warming of the Atlantic Ocean.
Lee S.-K., W. Park, E. van Sebille, M. O. Baringer, C. Wang, D. B. Enfield, S. Yeager, and B. P. Kirtman, 2011. What Caused the Significant Increase in Atlantic Ocean Heat Content Since the mid-20th Century? Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2011GL048856. [highlighted in Oct. 6, 2011 issue of Nature as Community Choice]