OSNAP – Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic

OSNAP is a US-led collaboration with UK, Dutch, German and Canadian scientists aimed at measuring the flow of heat, mass and freshwater in the subpolar North Atlantic Ocean using moored instrumentation, subsurface floats, gliders and hydrographic surveys. The project will investigate the link between changes in production of North Atlantic Deep Water and the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), on interannual timescales. It is aimed at understanding the variability of the AMOC and its potential impact on the climate system, including the marine biogeochemistry and the cryosphere. Measurements will start in summer 2014 and continue until summer 2018.

RAPID-MOCHA – Monitoring the MOC at 26.5°N

RAPID-MOCHA is a collaborative project, US and UK, to measure the meridional overturning circulation (MOC) and ocean heat transport in the North Atlantic Ocean. Simply put, warm waters move poleward at the surface of the ocean, where they cool and sink, to return equatorward in the deep ocean. Climate models suggest that the MOC in the Atlantic, and the accompanying oceanic heat flux, vary considerably on interannual time scales. In addition to abrupt climate change scenarios in which the MOC can virtually shut off (Manabe and Stouffer, 1993; Vellinga and Wood, 2002), the “normal” interdecadal variation may range from 20% to 30% of its long-term mean value, according to some models (e.g., Hakkinen, 1999). However, until recently no direct measurement system had been put in place that could provide regular estimates of the meridional overturning circulation to determine its natural variability or to assess these model predictions. Such a system is now deployed along 26.5°N in the Atlantic as part of the joint U.K./U.S. RAPID-MOCHA program, which has been continuously observing the MOC since March 2004.

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NACLIM aims at investigating and quantifying the predictability on interannual to decadal time scales of the climate in the North Atlantic/European sector related to North Atlantic/Arctic Ocean surface state (sea surface temperature and sea ice) variability and change. NACLIM will partly build on the multi-model decadal prediction experiments currently performed by a number of leading European and worldwide research institutions as part of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). Rather than running climate forecasts within the project, we will analyze the CMIP5 predictions and critically assess their quality for the near-future stage of atmospheric and oceanic quantities.

NACLIM is a EU funded project with 18 participating institutions from 9 European countries.

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The VITALS (Ventilation, Interactions and Transports Across the Labrador Sea) research network will answer fundamental questions about how the deep ocean exchanges carbon dioxide, oxygen, and heat with the atmosphere through the Labrador Sea. New observations and modelling will determine what controls these exchanges and how they interact with varying climate, in order to resolve the role of deep convection regions in the Carbon Cyle and Earth System. VITALs is a pan-Canadian initiative involving scientists from 11 Canadian universities as well as multiple federal government laboratories (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as well as Environment Canada), industrial and foreign partners.

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