A window on the deep ocean: The special value of ocean bottom pressure for monitoring the large-scale, deep-ocean circulation

  • Chris W. Hughes, Joanne Williams, Adam Blaker, Andrew Coward, Vladimir Stepanov
  • Progress In Oceanography, February 2018, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.pocean.2018.01.011

How to monitor global ocean circulation without being blinded by local turbulence.

What is it about?

Most ocean observations are dominated by local variability, so they don't tell us much about the global circulation which represents the ocean's main role in the climate system. In contrast, we show that measurements of ocean bottom pressure on the continental slope are representative of the ocean on global scales. We explain why this should be expected, and show how to use such measurements to monitor one of the ocean's main modes of variability - the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation.

Why is it important?

Ocean observations are expensive, but important because the ocean is responsible for a large part of the heat transport in the climate system. We show how, by focusing observations on a particular, narrow region of the ocean - the continental slope - we can efficiently measure the circulation.

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The following have contributed to this page: Chris Hughes