Should AMOC observations continue: how and why?


The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) is a large-scale circulation pattern responsible for northward heat transport in the Atlantic and is associated with climate variations on a wide range of time scales. Observing the time-varying AMOC has fundamentally changed our understanding of the large-scale ocean circulation and its interaction with the climate system, as well as identified shortcomings in numerical simulations. With a wide range of gains already achieved, some now ask whether AMOC observations should continue. A measured approach is required for a future observing system that addresses identified gaps in understanding, accounts for shortcomings in observing methods and maximizes the potential to guide improvements in ocean and climate models. Here, we outline a perspective on future AMOC observing and steps that the community should consider to move forward.

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A
Eleanor Frajka-Williams
Eleanor Frajka-Williams
Professor of Ocean Dynamics in a Changing Climate

I am a physical oceanographer who uses ocean observations to investigate ocean dynamics and circulation in a changing climate. I have a particular interest in problems spanning scales (from micro- to large-scale) or spheres (biogeosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere), and in methods that leverage traditional observations with new platforms and satellite data.