Collaboration of overturning circulation observing arrays in the Atlantic (COCOA)

Lead Research Organisation: National Oceanography Centre
Department Name: Science and Technology


NERC funded scientists are international leaders in the observation of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) in the North Atlantic through the RAPID program of observations at 26N. A new observational array is being setup in the South Atlantic by teams from South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, France and the USA. This proposal seeks support for to establish collaboration between the RAPID team and those leading the South Atlantic array. The collaboration will ensure that NERC funded scientists remain at the forefront of the international research effort to monitor, understand, and develop the capability for prediction of the AMOC.
The collaboration will add value to the NERC funded RAPID 26N project (part of the RAPID-AMOC directed program), and also the newly funded OSNAP project (large grant NE/K010875/1), by
1) linking observations of the AMOC in the North Atlantic with those in the South Atlantic to provide new insights to the AMOC that have not previously been possible.
2) Inter-comparing array designs, data analysis techniques and methods to enable best practice to be shared amongst all teams observing the AMOC
It is proposed to hold a three-day workshop at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in spring or summer 2015 with the title "Monitoring the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation: synergies between observations in North and South subtropical Atlantic".

Planned Impact

Because of the AMOC's important role in the climate system observations of the AMOC are cited in the IPCC reports nth in the Chapter 3 on ocean observations and in the chapter p 'Evaluation of climate models'. The time series of the AMOC at 26 degrees north is a benchmark against which climate models are assessed. Concurrent data from the South Atlantic will also be of great value.
The AMOC and the related Atlantic Multi-decadal Variability (AMV) have a number of important impacts on climate phenomena including frequency of Atlantic hurricanes, rainfall in the Sahel, and storm tracks and weather over Northwest Europe.
The importance of AMOC studies for the UK is reflected by the inclusions of a paper within the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) Science Review


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Description Interannual Variability of the Meridional Transports across the SAMOC Basin-wide Array (SAMBAR) 
Organisation Universidade de São Paulo
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Project consultant
Collaborator Contribution Observations of the meridional heat transport in the South Atlantic ocean
Impact Just started
Start Year 2018