Circulation and variability in the subpolar North Atlantic

11 March 2015, 3.00 PM - 11 March 2015, 4.00 PM

Seminar Room 1, School of Geographical Sciences

Dr Penny Holliday, National Oceanography Centre will present this Physical Geography Seminar Series talk.

Open to all UoB staff and students.

There is mounting evidence from measurements and models of the importance of the transports of heat and freshwater by the subpolar North Atlantic (SPNA) for impacts on North Atlantic, European and global climate via temperature, precipitation and wind strength, and also on marine ecosystems, hurricanes, even rainfall in the Sahel, the Amazon and parts of the US. The subpolar gyre behaves substantially differently from the subtropical gyre, and their mechanisms and timescales for transport and storage of heat and freshwater are very different. The SPNA is inadequately measured (until now), and ocean general circulation or climate models do not represent it accurately. In the UK we have two major programmes which aim to generate new knowledge and understanding of the SPNA to improve predictions of the contribution of the region to climate; the long time series of the Extended Ellett Line and the new UK-OSNAP (Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Programme). In this talk I will explain what the programmes are and describe some recent results about interannual to multidecadal variability of temperature, salinity, velocity and transport.

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