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Water vapor transfer and near-surface salinity contrasts in the North Atlantic Ocean
Reagan, J.; Seidov, D.; Boyer, T.P. (2018). Water vapor transfer and near-surface salinity contrasts in the North Atlantic Ocean. NPG Scientific Reports 8(1): 10 pp.
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Reagan, J.
  • Seidov, D.
  • Boyer, T.P.

    Maintaining North Atlantic (NA) intra-basin near-surface salinity (NSS) contrast between the high NSS (>37.0) in the subtropical NA (STNA) and low NSS (<35.0) in the subpolar NA (SPNA) has been shown to be important in sustaining the strength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Evaporation (E) exceeding precipitation (P) in the STNA is primarily responsible for the high NSS there, whereas P dominating E in the SPNA contributes to its low NSS. With a basic understanding of NA intra-basin moisture transport, a correlation analysis was conducted between E-P/NSS over the NA subpolar gyre (SPG) and E-P across the rest of the NA over the 1985–2012 time period. Significant anti-correlations exist between E-P/NSS over the NA SPG and E-P over the central/northern STNA. This suggests that during times of high E over the central/northern STNA there is high (low) precipitation (NSS) over the SPG demonstrating a relationship likely exists between E over the STNA and NSS over the SPG. The maximum anti-correlated area is poleward of the maximum E-P location in the STNA, which is examined. These results provide a first step to ultimately utilizing NSS in the NA as a proxy for estimating changes in the hydrological cycle.

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