Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Models Show North Atlantic Cooling Driven by Atmospheric Processes


Average global ocean temperatures have been warming consistently over the past century with a notable exception, a region in the North Atlantic dubbed the “warming hole,” which has shown a cooling pattern. This persistent anomaly is often attributed to a slow-down of a global ocean circulation system called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), but a new modeling study supported in part by the Climate Program Office’s Climate Variability & Predictability (CVP) Program suggests a different driver. Results from a Community Earth System Model (CESM) simulation shows that most of the cooling trend can be explained by atmospheric processes alone. A group of researchers from the University of Miami, Columbia University, and the University of Colorado – Boulder, including CVP-funded scientists Amy Clement (Miami) and Mark Cane (Columbia) found that enhanced westerly winds work to effectively remove heat from the ocean surface, and the cooling is reinforced by wind-driven ocean processes. These results, published in Geophysical Research Letters, offer a better understanding and a new perspective to the “warming hole” phenomenon, emphasizing the role of the atmosphere as a thermal driver in the North Atlantic.

Read the article

More News

Scroll to Top