Two new projects have been funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) to improve understanding of the Subpolar North Atlantic and its impacts.
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is a key component of the global climate system and dominates northward ocean heat transport over most of the Atlantic. The Subpolar North Atlantic is the region where the AMOC is actively shaped through a combination of surface fluxes of heat, freshwater and momentum. There is increasing evidence that knowledge of the Subpolar North Atlantic is important for decadal climate prediction.
The joint UK-USA program will extend the observations of the OSNAP to a decade and will support the utilization of the observations for use in science and policy predictions.
The two projects will take advantage of the data arising from the joint Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Programme (OSNAP) array, to improve understanding and models of the Subpolar North Atlantic and its impacts by addressing two challenges:
- Combining observations and ocean-climate models to deliver a step change in quantitative understanding of processes that matter for subpolar variability;
- Determining the impacts of subpolar variability on the ocean-atmosphere-ice system.
The projects are funded in the UK through UKRI’s Fund for International Collaboration (FIC), which is designed to support the UK in forming new, and strengthening existing, bilateral and multilateral partnerships for research and innovation with leading nations with a reputation for excellence.
The two projects are:
- SNAP-DRAGON: Subpolar North Atlantic Processes – Dynamics and predictability of variability in Gyre and Overturning, led by Dr Helen Johnson, University of Oxford, and Professor Susan Lozier, Georgia Institute of Technology; and
- WISHBONE: Wider impacts of Subpolar North Atlantic decadal variability on the ocean and atmosphere, led by Dr Jon Robson, University of Reading, and Dr Stephen Yeager, National Centre for Atmospheric Research.