Does freshening trend indicate weakening thermohaline circulation?
- GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 31,
Does the recent freshening trend in the North Atlantic indicate a
weakening thermohaline circulation?
Peili Wu, Richard Wood, and Peter Stott
Met Office, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research,
 It is widely expected that the thermohaline circulation of the
ocean will slow down as greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere
increases. This is partly due to an intensified hydrological cycle in a
warmer climate. Is the recent observed freshening trend in the North
Atlantic an indication of what has been expected? We report a similar
freshening trend reproduced in an ensemble of four coupled model
simulations with all major historical external (natural and
anthropogenic) forcings. The modelled freshening trend originates from
the Arctic Ocean where sea ice decrease and river runoffs increase with
the same trend. Instead of weakening, we find an upward trend in the
North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation.
Forward from ClimateChangeDebate - Ben P
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