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Ocean Surface Topography from Space
SCIENCE
Atlantic 'Conveyor Belt' Not Slowing
April 01, 2010

Dr. Josh Willis
Dr. Josh Willis

New NASA measurements of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, part of the global ocean conveyor belt that helps regulate climate around the North Atlantic, show no significant slowing over the past 15 years. The data suggest the circulation may have even sped up slightly in the recent past.

The findings are the result of a new monitoring technique, developed by oceanographer Josh Willis of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., using measurements from ocean-observing satellites and profiling floats. The findings are reported in the March 25 issue of Geophysical Research Letters.



Illustration depicting the overturning circulation of the global ocean. Throughout the Atlantic Ocean, the circulation carries warm waters (red arrows) northward near the surface and cold deep waters (blue arrows) southward. Image credit: NASA/JPL
Illustration depicting the overturning circulation of the global ocean. Throughout the Atlantic Ocean, the circulation carries warm waters (red arrows) northward near the surface and cold deep waters (blue arrows) southward.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2010-101
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/heat-toting-ocean-currents-chugging-along

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