Hysteresis of the Atlantic MOC in an AOGCM

UPDATE (16/06/11) – the paper describing this work has now been published and highlighted.

The potential for a rapid collapse in the strength of the Atlantic overturning circulation (AMOC) has long been recognised. The pioneering work of Stommel first suggested that the density driven circulation in the Atlantic Ocean has two equilibrium states, either ‘on’ or ‘off’. If the climate is altered, a transition may occur between these states which is not reversible by returning the climate to its previous regime (this irreversibility is termed ‘hysteresis‘). Continue reading Hysteresis of the Atlantic MOC in an AOGCM