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Climate Impacts of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

Project description

A closer look at AMOC’s impact for Europe

Climate change – the number one issue facing humanity – is influenced by our oceans. The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), which is the zonally integrated component of surface and deep currents in the Atlantic Ocean, exerts significant influences. The EU-funded CliMOC project will study the role and implications of the AMOC on climate changes and impacts for Europe. Specifically, the project will propose a hierarchy of climate model simulations to separate the role of AMOC from other processes. It will also implement a slab-ocean model component in the EC-Earth global climate model. This will allow the project to run a slab-ocean EC-Earth simulation using the ocean heat fluxes from a fully coupled EC-Earth simulation.

Objective

CliMOC is a proposal to fund a fellowship to be carried out by the Experienced Researcher (ER) Katinka Bellomo at host institution Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy (POLITO) in the department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering under the supervision of main host professor Jost von Hardenberg. The aim of the proposed work is to investigate the role of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) on climate impacts over Europe. Previous studies have shown an important role for the AMOC in modulating global climate change, in particular over the Northern Hemisphere and Europe. An AMOC collapse has been identified as a possible trigger of the initiation of Ice Ages. However, the influence of AMOC in future climate change is still unclear given the large inter-model uncertainty in the decline rate of AMOC, and the concurrent climate changes due to increasing concentrations of well-mixed greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In this proposal, we advance some hypotheses for the role of AMOC in the current climate and future climate change, and we propose a hierarchy of climate model simulations to separate the role of AMOC from other processes. More specifically, we plan to implement a slab-ocean model component in the EC-Earth global climate model. Using the ocean heat fluxes from a fully-coupled EC-Earth simulation in which the AMOC is artificially weakened, we will be able to run a slab-ocean EC-Earth simulation with a high-resolution atmospheric component, which will let us investigate the role of AMOC in future climate change impacts over Europe. This work will help reduce the uncertainties in projections of future climate change by constraining the influence of AMOC.

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Coordinator

POLITECNICO DI TORINO
Net EU contribution
€ 183 473,28
Address
Corso duca degli abruzzi 24
10129 Torino
Italy

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Region
Nord-Ovest Piemonte Torino
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00