September 2017: New research study published in Nature Climate Change, ‘Arctic sea ice decline weakens the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

In this new study, led by SMURPHS Co-Investigator Florian Sévellec, researchers looked at how melting Arctic sea-ice leads to a weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), the ocean system responsible for the transport of heat from the Equator to high latitudes.  

The study demonstrates that positive buoyancy anomalies, resulting from increased ocean surface heat and freshwater fluxes, weaken the AMOC and its poleward heat transport, particularly over multi-decadal timescales. This induced ocean cooling could have a significant impact on the climate of Atlantic rim countries, particularly Europe, leading to harsher winters, drier summers and increased storminess.

Link to article in Nature Climate Change

Link to University of Southampton press release