Category Archives: Meetings

OSNAP at the 2022 US AMOC Science Team Meeting

OSNAP-related presentations at the 2022 US AMOC Science Team Meeting can be found on the site linked below. We look forward to ‘seeing’ everyone and learning about the latest findings. If you have any edits or questions please contact Anne-Sophie Fortin (

OSNAP at Ocean Sciences Meeting

OSNAP related presentations at OSM 2022 can be found on the site linked below. We look forward to ‘seeing’ everyone and learning about the latest findings. If you have any edits or questions please contact Anne-Sophie Fortin (


OSNAP related presentations at EGU 2021 can be found on the site linked below. We look forward to ‘seeing’ everyone, and learning about the latest findings. If you have any edits or questions please contact Sarah Clem (

OSNAP at Upcoming Meetings

OSNAP at Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020

If you’re at Ocean Sciences this week, and curious to learn more about ongoing OSNAP research, there are numerous opportunities. Follow the link below to find a list of oral and poster presentations featuring OSNAP related topics:

OSNAP at Upcoming Meetings

OSNAP at Ocean Science Meeting 2020

Below is a list of Ocean Sciences 2020 special sessions that may be interested to the OSNAP community.  Abstracts are due September 11, 2019.


Ocean Sciences 2020 – OSNAP related abstract submission

We are want to draw your attention to the following session at the Ocean Sciences Meeting, 16-21 February 2020 in San Diego, CA. Abstracts can be submitted by visiting until the submission deadline Wednesday, 11 September.


Atlantic Ocean Variability in A Changing Climate: Observations, Modeling, and Theories


By redistributing a large amount of heat and salt, the Atlantic Ocean significantly impacts regional and global climate over a wide range of time scales. In particular, the Atlantic has seen strong variations in the ocean heat and freshwater content over the past couple of decades, as well as in the uptake and storage of anthropogenic carbon, which has been attributed to changes in the ocean circulation, e.g., those related to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). However, the mechanisms through which the ocean circulation changes (e.g., in the mean state and variability) and impacts the climate system (e.g., via a series of modes of variability such as the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability, the North Atlantic Oscillation), as well as the feedback, remain poorly understood. This session invites submissions that advance our understanding of the Atlantic Ocean variability, the role it plays in the atmosphere–ocean–sea-ice system, and its impact on the future climate. It aims to bring together recent progress in understanding the circulation and climate variability in the Atlantic sector from paleoclimate, historical and future perspectives. Studies utilizing observational, modeling and/or theoretical frameworks are all welcome.


We very much hope to see you in San Diego.


Best regards,

Feili Li (Duke University)

Rohit Ghosh (Max Planck Institute for Meteorology)

Laifang Li (Duke University)

Dian Putrasahan (Max Planck Institute for Meterology)


Ocean Sciences Meeting 2018

OSNAP related talks at Ocean Sciences 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018; 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Oregon Convention Center; Poster Hall 

PL14A-1754: Labrador Sea Water formation and its relationship to buoyancy forcing
Anastasia Romanou, M Susan Lozier, Feili Li, Kayla Rosann Flynn, Maria Aristizabal-Vargas and Joy Romanski

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 – Location: C123-C124

08:00 AM – 08:15 AM
Observational Evidence of Multi-Decadal Changes in Arctic Freshwater Transport to the Subpolar North Atlantic(HE21A-01)
Cristian Florindo-Lopez, Naomi P Holliday, Sheldon Bacon, Yevgeny Aksenov and Eugene Colbourne

Abstract: Changes in freshwater transport into the subpolar North Atlantic have the potential to disrupt or enhance the formation of dense water with subsequent impact on the meridional overturning circulation and associated ocean heat transport. Freshwater budget components in the subpolar North Atlantic include input from the atmosphere (precipitation vs evaporation, and river run-off), Greenland ice-sheet melt, saline subtropical water carried by the MOC, the dense overflow waters, and Arctic-origin freshwater carried by the shallow boundary currents that follow pathways west and east of Greenland. In this analysis we use a multi-decadal data set from the Labrador Shelf to characterise long-term variability in the transport of Arctic freshwater in the Labrador current. We first present evidence from an eddy-permitting global ocean circulation model to determine the origins of the water sampled by our time series. In particular we examine the dynamics of the currents on the Labrador Shelf in order to isolate the Arctic-origin water masses. We describe how we derive a 65-year record of changing Arctic freshwater transport from the observational data set. We will show that the multi-year changes in freshwater transport in the Labrador Current are consistent with independently-observed changes in subpolar freshwater storage.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 – Location: B113-B115

08:30 AM – 08:45 AM
First Results from OSNAP: Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program(PL21A-03)
M Susan Lozier

Abstract: An international effort, Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP), is a partnership among oceanographers from the US, UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and China whose goal is to measure and understand what drives the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) and its variability. With high-resolution mooring arrays from the Labrador coast to the Scottish shelf, OSNAP provides a continuous record of the full water column, trans-basin fluxes of heat, mass and freshwater in the subpolar North Atlantic and has been operational since 2014. Data from the first 21 months of the full OSNAP observing system has been used to produce the first continuous time series of these variables. In addition to these time series, time mean estimates for all fluxes and attendant uncertainties will be presented, along with comparisons with other contemporaneous AMOC measurements and a discussion of subpolar overturning variability.

08:45 AM – 09:00 AM
Subpolar North Atlantic overturning and gyre circulation and heat and freshwater fluxes from two OSNAP high resolution hydrographic sections in the summers of 2014 and 2016 (PL21A-04)
Naomi P Holliday, Brian A. King, Stefan Gary, Stuart A. Cunningham, Johannes Karstensen, Elaine McDonagh, Sheldon Bacon, Feili Li and King Brian

Abstract: The international observational program, OSNAP (Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program) began in the summer of 2014 for the purpose of recording continuous trans-basin observations of volume, heat and freshwater. OSNAP will investigate the complex interplay between AMOC and gyre circulation, air-sea fluxes and ocean heat and freshwater transport convergence which presently lack observational evidence. The OSNAP array uses moored instruments, gliders and floats to measure velocity, temperature and salinity along a section from Canada to Greenland to Scotland. Here we present detailed views of the full-depth properties and velocity field from two high resolution hydrographic sections along the OSNAP line taken at the start of programme in June-July 2014 and during mooring turnaround cruises in May-August 2016. We derive estimates of the meridional overturning and gyre circulation and their components of heat and freshwater flux, finding that while the overturning dominates the heat flux, the freshwater flux is predominantly carried by the gyre. We show a notable difference in the magnitude of the overturning circulation and the heat and freshwater fluxes as measured by the two synoptic sections, and discuss how this relates to the associated differences in temperature, salinity and density fields.

 09:00 AM – 09:15 AM
Transport of the Iceland-Scotland Overflow plume along the eastern flank of the Reykjanes Ridge (PL21A-05)
William E Johns, Adam Houk, Greg Koman, Amy S Bower, Sijia Zou and Susan Lozier

Abstract: Since 2014, an array of current meters deployed as part of the OSNAP trans-basin observing system has provided new measurements of the southward flow of Iceland-Scotland Overflow water (ISOW) along the eastern flank of the Reykjanes Ridge in the Iceland Basin. The location of the array, near 58°N, captures the ISOW Deep Western Boundary Current at the farthest downstream location in the Iceland Basin before significant amounts of ISOW can flow into the Irminger Basin through deep fractures in the Reykjanes Ridge. The transport of the ISOW plume at this location – based on the first two years of OSNAP observations (July 2014 to July 2016) – is 5.8 ± 0.9 Sv for ?? >27.8. Most of this transport is carried in a main branch of the plume along the upper ridge crest in depths from 1400-2200 m. A secondary branch in depths of 2400-2700 m along the lower ridge crest carries about 1 Sv. The transport of the ISOW plume varies over a considerable range, from about 2-10 Sv on weekly to monthly time scales (std. dev. = 2.4 Sv); however the mean currents from two individual year-long deployments are very similar and indicate a robust mean flow structure. Watermass analysis of the plume from continuous temperature/salinity measurements shows that about 50% of the plume transport (2.6-3.0 Sv) is derived from pure Norwegian Sea Overflow waters (NSOW) – consistent with the amount of NSOW known to be flowing over the northern sills into the Iceland Basin – while the remainder is made up of approximately equal parts of entrained Labrador Sea Water and modified Atlantic thermocline waters. The observed ISOW transport at this location is larger by almost 2 Sv than previous values obtained farther north in the Iceland Basin, suggesting that either additional entrainment into the ISOW plume occurs as it approaches the southern tip of the Reykjanes Ridge, or that the previous measurements did not fully capture the plume transport.

03:00 PM – 03:15 PM
Can variations in mixed layer depth explain variations in SST decorrelation timescales in the North Atlantic and North Pacific? (PL23A-05)
Martha W Buckley, Laifang Li, M Susan Lozier and Nicholas Foukal

Abstract: The “null-hypothesis” for sea surface temperature (SST) variability is that the ocean mixed layer integrates stochastic atmospheric forcing, leading to red SST spectra. According to this hypothesis, decorrelation timescales (e.g., e-folding timescales) of SST are a function of the mixed-layer depth (MLD) and the damping parameter. In this work we evaluate the ability of the null-hypothesis to explain interannual SST variations in the extra-tropical North Atlantic and North Pacific. First, we develop an idealized red-noise model of the mixed layer heat balance in the North Atlantic, in which the oceanic contribution is neglected in order to isolate the effects of atmospheric forcing. We evaluate the e-folding timescale in this model using observational datasets. Results suggest that in both the North Atlantic and the North Pacific, e-folding timescales depend strongly on the mixed layer depth, but the relationship is stronger in the North Atlantic. Then, we use gridded ocean temperature observations to directly calculate the decorrelation timescales for both SST and upper-ocean heat content and compare these timescales to those predicted by our theoretical model. Regions where decorrelation timescales differ significantly from those predicted by our theoretical model indicate the importance of processes other than local atmospheric forcing, including reemergence of SST anomalies, ocean dynamics, and/or external forcing.

03:15 PM – 03:30 PM
Relationship between changes in the AMOC, North Atlantic heat content and SST (PL23A-06)
Ben I Moat, Bablu Sinha, Simon A Josey, Jon Robson, Pablo Ortega, Naomi P Holliday, Gerard D McCarthy and Joel Hirschi

Abstract: The North Atlantic undergoes swings in sea-surface temperature (SST) on multidecadal timescales, with consequent impacts on the climate of adjacent land areas. Proposed mechanisms behind this Atlantic Multidecadal Variability (AMV) fall into two main categories: external forcing e.g. due to anthropogenic aerosols; or internal modes of variability e.g. involving the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). In either case the relationship between the changes in oceanic heat transport and the SST is not well understood. Here we develop a framework to investigate which physical processes determine SST variability on decadal to multidecadal timescales by evaluating contributions from the net ocean-atmosphere heat flux, the divergence of the temperature transport, and entrainment between the mixed layer and the layer beneath. We analyse the 300-year present-day control simulation of the HADGEM3-GC2 coupled climate model, which shows a 20-30 year AMV variability similar to that observed.

We find that the AMOC leads the AMV by ~5 years. The model suggests that a key process connecting the AMOC to the AMV is heat transport divergence into/out of the mixed layer. AMOC changes themselves are preceded by changes in the eddy heat transport divergence in the deep ocean on times scales of ~12 years.

03:45 PM – 04:00 PM
Estimating Advective and Diffusive Fluxes of Heat and Freshwater in the Arctic Using a Novel Inverse Method in Thermohaline Coordinates (PL23A-08)
Neill Sutherland Mackay, Chris Wilson, Jan D. Zika, Naomi P. Holliday

Abstract: Recent studies have shown that a thermohaline coordinate system can be used to simplify the complex spatial structure of the global ocean circulation with minimal loss of information (e.g. Zika et al 2012, Groeskamp et al 2014). This thermohaline framework is particularly useful in studying the fluxes of heat and freshwater within the ocean, such as those associated with the AMOC.

In contribution to OSNAP we have developed a novel inverse method in thermohaline coordinates called the Regional Thermohaline Inverse Method (RTHIM). For a control volume, RTHIM invokes a balance between advection into the volume, fluxes of heat and freshwater through the surface, and interior mixing within the volume. Taking known surface fluxes and temperature-salinity distributions, RTHIM determines unknown section velocities and rates of interior mixing.

Using a 20-year mean of NEMO model data from 1988-2007, we have validated RTHIM for an Arctic control volume bounded to the south by a section at around 60°N by comparing section transports and interior mixing rates from the inverse solution with those diagnosed from the model. We find that the RTHIM solutions are robust to various model parameters and initial conditions. The MOC, heat and freshwater transports calculated from the RTHIM solutions are within 15%, 11% and 8%, respectively, of the NEMO ‘truth’. We also see good agreement between mixing rates obtained from the RTHIM solution and those diagnosed from the model.

Our aim is to construct a domain bounded by the OSNAP line and Bering Strait, and apply RTHIM to observations from satellite altimetry, gridded Argo and a selection of surface flux products. From this we can obtain independent estimates of the AMOC at the array, and mixing rates within the Arctic and Subpolar North Atlantic basins. Since these products extend 20 years before the OSNAP observations, our analysis will help contextualise the AMOC variability measured by the array and assess the significance of trends.

Posters Session:

Tuesday, February 13, 2018; 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Oregon Convention Center; Poster Hall 

EP24A-0762: The maintenance of high productivity in the absence of Ekman upwelling: The supply of nutrients to the North Atlantic intergyre region
Ryan James Peabody and Susan Lozier

HE24C-2886: Transport variability of the Iceland-Scotland overflow water through the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone: results from an eddying simulation and observations
Xiaobiao Xu, Amy S Bower, and Heather H Furey

PC24B-0602: Mechanisms driving interannual variability in subtropical mixed layer depths 
Laifang Li and M. Susan Lozier

PL24A-1774: Circulation in the vicinity of the Reykjanes Ridge in June-July 2015
Tillys Petit, Herle Mercier and Virginie Thierry

PL24A-1786: Overflow Water Pathways in the Subpolar North Atlantic Observed with Deep Floats
Amy S Bower, Heather Furey, Sijia Zou and Susan Lozier

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 – Location: B113-B115

08:45 AM – 09:00 AM
Local and Downstream Relationships Between the Volume of Newly Formed Labrador Sea Water and Overturning Circulation in the North Atlantic (PL31A-04)
Feili Li, M Susan Lozier, Gokhan Danabasoglu, Naomi P Holliday, Young-Oh Kwon, Anastasia Romanou, Stephen G Yeager, and Rong Zhang

Abstract: While it has generally been understood that the amount of deep water formed in the Labrador Sea (LSW) impacts the meridional overturning circulation (MOC), this relationship has not been validated against observations. A current observational program (Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program: OSNAP) is aimed at ascertaining this linkage, but it will be a few years before this observational time series has sufficient degrees of freedom to evaluate the necessary correlations on time scales exceeding the annual. For now, we turn to a suite of global ocean and ocean–sea-ice models, varying in resolution from non-eddy-permitting to eddy-permitting (1°–¼°), to investigate the local and downstream relationships between the LSW volume and the MOC on interannual to decadal time scales. Simulated measures of the LSW volume changes and MOC variability are compared to available observational measures. In this presentation, we show that all models display a strong relationship between the LSW volume changes and the local overturning variability within the Labrador Sea, but this relationship degrades downstream. However, there are some differences among the models in their representations of these relationships.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 – Location: B116

02:30 PM – 02:45 PM
Mesoscale eddies modulate meridional heat flux variability in  the subpolar North Atlantic
Jian Zhao, Amy Bower, Jiayan Yang, Xiaopei Lin, and Chun Zhou

Abstract: The meridional heat flux in the subpolar North Atlantic is pivotal to maintaining a relatively warm climate in Northern Europe. Much of the variability in the basin-wide northward heat flux between Greenland and Scotland occurs in the Iceland Basin (east of the Reykjanes Ridge and west of the Rockall Plateau), where the North Atlantic Current (NAC) carries relatively warm and salty water northward. As a component of the Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP), WHOI-OUC jointly deployed gliders in the Iceland Basin to continuously monitor the circulation and corresponding temperature flux associated with the NAC. In-situ observations indicate two circulation regimes in the Iceland Basin: a mesoscale eddy like pattern and northward flowing NAC pattern. When a mesoscale eddy is generated, the rotational currents associated with the eddy lead to both northward and southward flow in the Iceland basin. This is quite different from the broad northward flow associated with the NAC when there is no eddy. The transition between the two regimes coupled with the strong temperature front in the Iceland basin can modify the meridional temperature flux on the order of 0.3PW. The dramatic variability induced by alternating eddy and frontal patterns is also found in high-resolution (1/12°) HYCOM simulations. In addition, a separation of large scale and mesoscale processes in the model results suggests that eddies in the Iceland Basin make significant contributions to the variability of the total basinwide poleward heat flux on time scales from subseasonal to interannual.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 – Location: A107-A109

 03:00 PM – 03:15 PM
Gulf Stream transport and mixing processes via Lagrangian coherent structure dynamics (PS33A-05)
Yi Liu, Chris Wilson, Melissa A. Green and Christopher W. Hughes.

Abstract: The Gulf Stream has been characterized as either a barrier or blender to fluid transfer, a duality relevant to gyre-scale climate adjustment. However, previous characterization depended on relatively sparse, Lagrangian in-situ observations. The finite-time Lyapunov exponent (FTLE) is calculated from satellite altimetry to identify Lagrangian coherent structures (LCS) in the Gulf Stream region. The focus here is on the transient and intermittent behavior associated with eddy propagation and eddy-jet interaction over timescales of a few days, in contrast to other studies characterized by longer integration times. These LCS provide dense sampling of flow, capture dynamically-distinct regions associated with transport and mixing, and even represent some flow structure at finer spatial scale than the observational grid. Independent satellite observations of ocean color contain similar flow-dependent structures, providing verification of the method and highlighting transport and mixing processes that influence sea surface temperature and chlorophyll, amongst other water properties.

 Diagnosed LCS support the existing Bower (1991) kinematic model of the Gulf Stream, but also highlight many new processes of comparable importance. These include vortex pinch-off and formation of spiral eddies, clearly identified by LCS, and which may be explained by considering changes to flow topology and the dynamics of shear-flow instability at both small and large Rossby number. Such processes, seen though LCS, may enhance validation of climate models.

The spatial distribution of these intermittent processes is characterized in terms of the criticality of jet dynamics with respect to Rossby wave propagation, and whether the jet is in an unstable or wave-maker regime. The generation and connectivity of hyperbolic fixed points in the flow appear to play an important role in governing large-scale transport and mixing across the Gulf Stream.

Posters Session:

Wednesday, February 14, 2018; 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Oregon Convention Center; Poster Hall

PL34A-1815:Connecting Variability in Lagrangian Inter-gyre Throughput from the Subtropical to the Subpolar Gyres with the Meridional Heat Transport in the North Atlantic
Nicholas Foukal and M. Susan Lozier

PL34A-1820: Exploring the relationship between deep water mass transport variability and the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation
Sijia Zou, M Susan Lozier, and Martha W Buckley

The 2017 Irminger Sea Regional Science Workshop

by Penny Holliday

In early November scientists from both sides of the Atlantic travelled to the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK to spend two days discussing new

The OSNAP and OOI scientists at the 2017 Irminger Sea Regional Science Workshop, 8-9 November 2017, hosted by the National Oceanography Centre, UK.

findings and future research.  The 2017 Irminger Sea Regional Science Workshop was designed to give us time to present results from recent observations from OSNAP and the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI, and to develop plans for collaborative analyses, publications and sampling strategies. 

Workshops are less formal than conferences, and because this workshop was limited to less than 40 people there was much opportunity for conversation between all the participants.  We had a good mixture of established and early career scientists, and for me that meant a chance to meet some new people, and to get to know better some people I’d met only briefly at previous OSNAP meetings.

We spent the first day sharing short talks on our analyses – and often these were presentations of preliminary results, giving the meeting an air of excitement.  Each talk prompted lots of questions as we related our own findings to those up on the screen in front of us.  The discussions spilled over into breaks and many people commented to me about how useful those conversations have been to them – this is the reason why we hold these workshops.

Some highlights among the talks were from OSNAP scientists – there isn’t room to list them all here, but here are a selection.  Bob Pickart opened the talk session by showing us early results from his array west of Greenland –  describing rapidly passing deep cyclones that may originate east of Greenland, and telling a great story about an instrument being torn off a mooring by ice, which was transported by the iceberg for a while before being found and returned by fishermen.  Femke de Jong showed very interesting differences in variability at 3 closely-located mooring sites, concluding that controls on variability can change over small spatial scales.  Johannes Karstensen presented some fascinating maps of mid-depth circulation derived from Argo float displacements, highlighting narrow and fast routes for exchange between the Labrador and Irminger Seas.  Amy Bower, giving her talk remotely from the US, showed us more lagrangian information – this time intriguing tracks from floats that stay within the dense overflow layers and create a pattern of pathways quite different to our schematic maps.  Isabela LeBras is exploring the slightly different seasonal cycles revealed by OSNAP moorings in the East Greenland Coastal Current and it’s larger offshore neighbour the East Greenland Current, and Peigen Lin showed us how the the inner current evolves as it travels around Cape Farewell.  We finished the talks with a session on biogeochemical measurements on moorings, floats and gliders, and how changes in physical processes can impact ecosystems, reviving for some of us the idea that it would be very beneficial to build a biogeochemical programme associated with OSNAP. 

The second day was even more interactive.  We started by brain-storming ideas for research, writing down any science questions that came to mind: big, small, obvious questions, crazy ideas.  We grouped them into themes and those became the topics for small breakout groups for the rest of the day.  This brought people with common interests together and encouraged everyone to share their thoughts and ideas.  Our discussion groups were: biogeochemical and physical interaction, boundary processes and exchange with the interior, air-sea interaction, convection and re-stratification, ice and freshwater, and large-scale connectivity.  We came away from this day’s work with new ideas, plans for new collaborative papers, and some new networks of scientists interested in specific topics. 

The conversations we started at this workshop will continue online and at future science meetings, and hopefully another workshop in a few years time.



April 23-28, 2017 in Vienna, Austria
Meeting Website

Monday, 24 Apr 2017
The North Atlantic: natural variability and global change (co-organized)
Oral Presentations:
Location: Room D2

On the Nature of the Mesoscale Variability in Denmark Strait
Robert Pickart, Wilken von Appen, Dana Mastropole, Hedinn Valdimarsson, Kjetil Vage, Steingriumur Jonsson, Kerstin Jochumsen, and James Girton
View Abstract

OSNAP Update: Measuring the AMOC in the subpolar North Atlantic
M Susan Lozier
View Abstract

Overflow Water Pathways in the Subpolar North Atlantic Observed with Deep Floats
Amy Bower, Heather Furey, and Susan Lozier
View Abstract

Observed and Modeled Pathways of the Iceland Scotland Overflow Water in the eastern North Atlantic
Sijia Zou, Susan Lozier, Walter Zenk, Amy Bower, and William Johns
View Abstract

Transport of Iceland-Scotland Overflow waters in the Deep Western Boundary Current along the Reykjanes Ridge
William Johns, Adam Houk, Greg Koman, Sijia Zou, and Susan Lozier
View Abstract

Gulf Stream transport and mixing processes via coherent structure dynamics
Chris Wilson, Yi Liu, Melissa Green, and Chris Hughes
View Abstract

Transport Structure and Energetic of the North Atlantic Current in Subpolar Gyre from Observations
Loïc Houpert, Mark Inall, Estelle Dumont, Stefan Gary, Marie Porter, William Johns, and Stuart Cunningham
View Abstract

Poster Presentations
Location: Hall X4
Time: 17:30–19:00

Volume, heat and freshwater transport in the Irminger Current
M. Femke de Jong, Laura de Steur, Stelios Kritsotalakis
View Abstract

Assessing variability in the size and strength of the North Atlantic subpolar gyre
Nick Foukal and Susan Lozier
View Abstract

Transport and seasonal variability of the East Reykjanes Ridge Current
Greg Koman, Adam Houk, Cobi Christiansen, and Bill Johns
View Abstract

On the Linkage between Labrador Sea Water Volume and Overturning Circulation in the Labrador Sea
Feili Li and Susan Lozier
View Abstract

Application of a Regional Thermohaline Inverse Method to observational reanalyses in an Arctic domain
Neill Mackay, Chris Wilson, and Jan Zika
Poster: X4.60
View Abstract

The AMOC as a mechanism for nutrient supply to the Eastern North Atlantic
Ryan Peabody and Susan Lozier
View Abstract

Gyre scale deep convection in the subpolar North Atlantic Ocean during winter 2014-2015
Anne Piron, Virginie Thierry, Herlé Mercier, and Guy Caniaux
View Abstract

Circulation in the region of the Reykjanes Ridge in June-July 2015
Petit Tillys, Mercier Herle, and Thierry Virginie
View Abstract

Tuesday, 25 Apr 2017
Room: G2

Mesoscale eddies control meridional heat flux variability in the subpolar North Atlantic
Jian Zhao, Amy Bower, Jiayan Yang, Xiaopei Lin, and Chun Zhou
View Abstract 


OSNAP at Ocean Sciences 2016


Monday, 22 February

Neill Mackay
03:15-03:30 PM
Room 228-230
PO13E-06: Circulation and mixing in the subpolar North Atlantic diagnosed from climatology using a Regional Thermohaline Inverse Method (RTHIM)

The Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP) aims to quantify the subpolar Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), including associated advective and diffusive transport of heat and freshwater. The OSNAP observational array will provide a continuous subpolar record of the AMOC from Labrador-Greenland-Scotland during 2014-2018. To understand the significance of high- and low- frequency changes measured by the array, including changes to AMOC metrics, water mass transformation and transports, Argo observations provide a useful complementary constraint for an inverse method, with the aim of resolving intra-seasonal timescales.

A novel inverse method in thermohaline coordinates has recently been demonstrated as being able to diagnose aspects of the global overturning circulation and mixing from model data. Here we have further developed a Regional Thermohaline Inverse Method, (RTHIM) and have validated it with the NEMO model in the OSNAP region, before applying it to a seasonal Argo climatology.

In an ocean basin there exists a balance between surface heat and freshwater fluxes, advective fluxes at an open boundary and interior diffusive mixing. RTHIM makes use of this balance to determine unknown velocities at the open boundary and diffusive fluxes of heat and salt within the domain volume. We identify key transport and mixing regions and events, relevant to the subpolar AMOC, and discuss the robustness of the inverse solutions. RTHIM is also able to identify the particular contributions to AMOC volume transport changes from temperature and salinity components.

Tuesday, 23 February

Susan Lozier
Plenary lecture
10:30–11:30 AM
Great Hall A&B
A Decade after The Day After Tomorrow: Our Current Understanding of the Ocean’s Overturning Circulation

In 1800 Count Rumford ascertained the ocean’s meridional overturning circulation from a single profile of ocean temperature constructed with the use of a rope, a wooden bucket and a rudimentary thermometer. Over two centuries later, data from floats, gliders and moorings deployed across the North Atlantic has transformed our understanding of the temporal and spatial variability of the meridional overturning: the component of the climate system responsible for sequestering heat and anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the deep ocean. In this talk I will review our current understanding of the overturning circulation with a particular focus on what we currently do and don’t understand about the mechanisms controlling its temporal change.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Ric Williams
08:00-08:15 AM
Rooms 211-213
PC41A-01 Climate sensitivity to ocean sequestration of heat and carbon.

Ocean ventilation is a crucial process leading to heat and anthropogenic carbon being sequestered from the atmosphere. The rate by which the global ocean sequesters heat and carbon has a profound effect on the transient global warming. This climate response is empirically defined in terms of a climate index, the transient climate response to emissions (TCRE). Here, we provide a theoretical framework to understand how the TCRE can be interpreted in terms of a product of three differential terms: the dependence of surface warming on radiative forcing, the fractional radiative forcing contribution from atmospheric CO2 and the dependence of radiative forcing from atmospheric CO2 on cumulative carbon emissions. This framework is used to diagnose two models, an Earth System Model of Intermediate Complexity, configured as an idealised coupled atmosphere and ocean, and an IPCC-class Earth System Model. In both models, the centennial trends in the TCRE are controlled by the response of the ocean, which acts to sequester both heat and carbon; there is a decrease in the dependence of radiative forcing from CO2 on carbon emissions, which is partly compensated by an increase in the dependence of surface warming on radiative forcing. On decadal timescales, there are larger changes in the TCRE due to changes in ocean heat uptake and changes in non-CO2 radiative forcing linked to other greenhouse gases and aerosols. Our framework may be used to interpret the response of different climate models and used to provide traceability between simple and complex climate models.

Helen Johnson
08:45 – 09:00am
Rooms 203-205
PO41A-04 Dynamical Attribution of Recent Variability in Atlantic Overturning

Attributing observed variability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) to past changes in surface forcing is challenging but essential for detecting any influence of anthropogenic forcing and reducing uncertainty in future climate predictions. Here we obtain quantitative estimates of wind and buoyancy-driven AMOC variations at 25?N by projecting observed atmospheric anomalies onto model-based dynamical patterns of AMOC sensitivity to surface wind, thermal and freshwater forcing over the preceding 15 years. We show that local wind forcing dominates AMOC variability on short timescales, whereas subpolar heat fluxes dominate on decadal timescales. The reconstructed transport time series successfully reproduces most of the interannual variability observed by the RAPID-MOCHA array. However, the apparent decadal trend in the RAPID-MOCHA time series is not captured, requiring improved model representation of ocean adjustment to subpolar heat fluxes over at least the past two decades, and highlighting the importance of sustained monitoring of the high latitude North Atlantic.

Patricia Handmann et al
09:30 – 09:45 AM
Rooms 203-205
PO41A-07 North Atlantic Deep Western Boundary Current Dynamics as Simulated by the VIKING20 Model Compared with Labrador Sea Observations

The connection of dynamic and hydrographic properties simulated by the VIKING20 model driven by CORE2 atmospheric forcing will be presented and compared to more than decade-long observations at the exit of the Labrador Sea near 53°N. VIKING20 is a high resolution (1/20°) nest, implemented by two-way nesting in a global configuration of the NEMO-LIM2 ocean-sea ice model in the North Atlantic (ORCA25). The exit of the Labrador Sea is the place where water masses from different origins and pathways meet and which are collectively called North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW). The VIKING20 flow field on average reproduces the observed structure as well as the bottom intensification of the western boundary current at 53°N. Here, we investigate the properties of the observed and modeled deep western boundary current by comparing North Atlantic water masses and currents simulated by the high resolution model with moored and hydrographic data from almost 20 year-long observations at 53°N. As comparable density fields in the model in comparison to the observations are found at shallower depths, we will present an evaluation of dynamic and hydrographic changes connected to each other and to atmospheric forcing in the model and observed data. In addition the following key questions will be addressed: How is energy distributed in baroclinic and barotropic components in observations and model in comparison to each other? The seasonal cycle can be found in the shallow Labrador Current in the model and the observations, but how deep is it reaching and causing dynamic and hydrographic changes?

Stuart Cunningham et al
03:00 – 03:15 PM
Rooms 203-205
O43A-05: The Subpolar AMOC: Dynamic Response of the Horizontal and Overturning Circulations due to Ocean Heat Content Changes between 1990 and 2014

Ocean heat content (OHC) in the subpolar region of the North Atlantic varies on interannual to decadal timescales and with spatial variations between its sub-basins as large as the temporal variability. In 2014 the Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Programme (OSNAP) installed a mooring array across the Labrador Sea and from Greenland to Scotland. The objective of the array is to measure volume, heat and fresh-water fluxes. By combining Argo and altimeter data for the period 1990 to 2014 we describe and quantify the anomalous horizontal and overturning circulations and fluxes of heat and fresh-water driven by the long-term OHC changes. We thus provide a longer-term context for the new observations being made as part of OSNAP. Changes to the horizontal circulation involve deceleration of the gyre rim currents, lateral shifts of major open ocean current features and increased exchanges in the eastern intergyre region. These changes impact the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) in density space causing a rich vertical anomalous structure. The net impact over this 24 year period is a reduction in northward heat-flux and decrease in southward fresh-water flux.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Johannes Karstensen et al
03:00 – 03:15 PM
Rooms 203-205
PO53A-05: Observations and causes of hydrographic variability in den deep western boundary current at the exit of the Labrador Sea.

The hydrographic variability of the Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC) in the Labrador Sea is discussed using observational data from the period 1997 to 2014. This variability of the DWBC occurs on time scales from a few days to multiannual. The hydrographic data is analyzed in terms of signals originating from different “behavioral modes” of the DWBC, including the re-positioning of the core along the sloping topography, the pulsing of the core, and the advection of watermass anomalies within the core. Cross-correlation spectra show that the hydrographic variability on time scales of a few days can be explained by the periodic re-location of the core due to topographic waves. Variability on longer time scales can be interpreted by long-term re-location of the core, potentially related to an adjustment of the core to circulation changes on gyre scale. However, along-flow advection of anomalies is likely another source for this long-term variability. Possible scenarios for the generation of hydrographic variability in the source regions of the DWBC are discussed.

Poster Presentations

Monday, February 22, 2016 04:00 PM – 06:00 PM
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Poster Hall

HE14B High Latitude Air-Sea-Ice Interactions  in a Changing Climate II Posters

Marilena Oltmanns et al
HE14B-1415: The Role of Local and Regional Atmospheric Forcing for Convection in the Subpolar North Atlantic

Tuesday, February 22, 2016 04:00 PM – 06:00 PM
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Poster Hall

 PO24B: Mesoscale and Submesoscale Processes: Characterization, Dynamics, and Representation VI Posters

Chris Wilson 
An Update to the ‘Barrier or Blender’ Model of the Gulf Stream, Based on Lagrangian Analysis of Aviso Altimetry.

Thursday, February 25, 2016 04:00 PM – 06:00 PM
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Poster Hall

PO44 Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation: Past, Present, and Future III Posters

Chun Zhou
PO44A-3118: Subpolar North Atlantic glider observations for OSNAP

Friday, February 26, 2016 04:00 PM – 06:00 PM
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Poster Hall

PO54A: Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation: Past, Present, and Future V Posters

Amy Bower
PO54A-3225: The Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone: A Crossroads of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

Nicholas Foukal and Susan Lozier
PO54A-3229: Variability in Lagrangian-derived througput from the subtropical to the subpolar gyres in the North Atlantic and its impact on inter-gyre heat transport.

Penny Holliday
PO54A-3222: The AMOC and subpolar gyre circulation at the OSNAP section in summer 2014.

Ric Williams
PO44A-3130: Gyre-specific Ocean Heat Content Changes Controlled by the Meridional Overturning in the North Atlantic

Sijia Zou
PO54A-3224: Contradictory Pathways between Labrador Sea Water Advection and Property Propagation.

PO54B: Climate Trends, Hydrographic Variability, Circulation, and Air-Land-Sea Interactions in the Marginal Seas of the North Atlantic III Posters

Femke de Jong & Laura de Steur
PO54B-3241: Record deep convection in the Irminger Sea: Observations from the LOCO mooring during winter 2014-2015.

Laura de Steur & Femke de Jong
PO54B-3242: Transport variability of the Irminger Current: First year-round results from a mooring array on the Reykjanes Ridge.

Loïc Houpert
PO54B-3234: Glider Observations of the Properties, Circulation and Formation of Water Masses on the Rockall Plateau in the North Atlantic.

Virginie Thierry
PO54B-3239: Argo float observations of basin-scale deep convection in the Irminger Sea during winter 2011-2012.