Articles | Volume 19, issue 3
Research article
02 Jun 2023
Research article |  | 02 Jun 2023

Mixing and air–sea buoyancy fluxes set the time-mean overturning circulation in the subpolar North Atlantic and Nordic Seas

Dafydd Gwyn Evans, N. Penny Holliday, Sheldon Bacon, and Isabela Le Bras


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Short summary
This study investigates the processes that form dense water in the high latitudes of the North Atlantic to determine how they affect the overturning circulation in the Atlantic. We show for the first time that turbulent mixing is an important driver in the formation of dense water, along with the loss of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere. We point out that the simulation of turbulent mixing in ocean–climate models must improve to better predict the ocean's response to climate change.