Articles | Volume 17, issue 1
Research article
15 Feb 2021
Research article |  | 15 Feb 2021

A 30-year reconstruction of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation shows no decline

Emma L. Worthington, Ben I. Moat, David A. Smeed, Jennifer V. Mecking, Robert Marsh, and Gerard D. McCarthy

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Cited articles

Baehr, J., Haak, H., Alderson, S., Cunningham, S. A., Jungclaus, J. H., and Marotzke, J.: Timely Detection of Changes in the Meridional Overturning Circulation at 26 N in the Atlantic, J. Climate, 20, 5827–5841,, 2007. a
Baehr, J., Keller, K., and Marotzke, J.: Detecting Potential Changes in the Meridional Overturning Circulation at 26 N in the Atlantic, Clim. Change, 91, 11–27,, 2008. a, b
Baringer, M. O. and Larsen, J. C.: Sixteen Years of Florida Current Transport at 27 N, Geophys. Res. Lett., 28, 3179–3182,, 2001. a
Boyer, T. P., Antonov, J. I., Baranova, O. K., Coleman, C., Garcia, H. E., Grodsky, A., Johnson, D. R., Locarnini, R., Mishonov, R. A., O'Brien, T., Paver, C., Reagan, J., Seidov, D., Smolyar, I. V., and Zweng, M.: NCEI Standard Product: World Ocean Database (WOD), NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Dataset, available at: (last access: 16 April 2020), 2018. a, b
Bryden, H. L., Longworth, H. R., and Cunningham, S. A.: Slowing of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation at 25 N, Nature, 438, 655–657,, 2005. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n
Short summary
The RAPID array has observed the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) since 2004, but the AMOC was directly calculated only five times from 1957–2004. Here we create a statistical regression model from RAPID data, relating AMOC changes to density changes within the different water masses at 26°  N, and apply it to historical hydrographic data. The resulting 1981–2016 record shows that the AMOC from 2008–2012 was its weakest since the mid-1980s, but it shows no overall decline.