A study partially supported by CPO’s Climate Variability and Predictability Program concluded that the abrupt deep convection of the 2008 winter in the Labrador Sea is associated with unusual atmospheric conditions in the western North Atlantic and large-scale cooling in North America. A report of the study, which also suggests atmospheric responses to La Niña strongly influence the deep convection in the Labrador Sea, appears online in the Journal of Climate.
Researchers examined atmospheric and oceanic conditions employing reanalysis data, hindcast simulations, and a long-term analysis of deep convection in the Labrador Sea. The anomalous deep convection in the 2008 winter contrasts with the previous winter, which was accompanied by a stronger North Atlantic Oscillation despite having a shallow deep convection, the report states. Also, circulation anomalies in the western North Atlantic in the 2008 winter were accompanied by unusually cold near-surface temperature in part of northern North America and the subpolar North Atlantic.
The Labrador Sea is a region of major, open-ocean convective mixing. The report states the published findings are an important step for understanding contributing factors for deep convection in the Labrador Sea and their relationship with the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.
To access a copy of the report, visit: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0527.1