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North Atlantic Ocean Circulation and Decadal Sea Level Change During the Altimetry Era
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology . University of Bergen, Norway; Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Norway.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5538-545X
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2019 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 9, article id 1041Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Regional sea-level rise is characterized by decadal acceleration and deceleration periods that typically stem from oceanic climate variability. Here, we investigate decadal sea-level trends during the altimetry era and pin down the associated ocean circulation changes. We find that decadal subpolar gyre cooling (warming), strengthening (weakening), widening (shrinking) since the mid-2000s (early 1990s) resulted in negative (positive) sea level trends of −7.1 mm/yr ± 1.3 mm/yr (3.9 mm/yr ± 1.5 mm/yr). These large-scale changes further coincide with steric sea-level trends, and are driven by decadal-scale ocean circulation variability. Sea level on the European shelf, however, is found to correlate well with along-slope winds (R = 0.78), suggesting it plays a central role in driving the associated low-frequency dynamic sea level variability. Furthermore, when the North Atlantic is in a cooling (warming) period, the winds along the eastern boundary are predominantly from the North (South), which jointly drive a slowdown (rapid increase) in shelf and coastal sea level rise. Understanding the mechanisms that produce these connections may be critical for interpreting future regional sea-level trends.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 9, article id 1041
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology and Water Resources
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-165541DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-37603-6ISI: 000457287000029OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-165541DiVA, id: diva2:1284244
Available from: 2019-01-31 Created: 2019-01-31 Last updated: 2019-03-04Bibliographically approved

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