AbstractThe influx of warmer and saltier Indian Ocean waters into the Atlantic—the Agulhas leakage—is now recognized to play an important role in the global thermohaline circulation and climate. In this study the results of a ⅞° simulation with the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model, which exhibit an augmentation in the Agulhas leakage, is investigated. This increase in the leakage ought to have an impact on the meridional oceanic volume and heat transports in the Atlantic Ocean. Significant linear trends found in the integrated transport at 20°, 15°, and 5°S correlate well with decadal fluctuations of the Agulhas leakage. The augmented transport also seems to be related to an increase in the latent heat flux observed along the northeastern coastline of Brazil since 2003. This study shows that the precipitation on the Brazilian coast has been increasing since 2005, at the same location and with the same regime shift observed for the latent heat flux and the volume transport. This suggests that the increase of the Agulhas transport affects the western boundary system of the tropical Atlantic Ocean, which is directly related to an increase in the precipitation and latent heat flux along the western coast.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Sep 11, 2017
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