Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2023-30
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2023-30
15 Nov 2023
 | 15 Nov 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESD.

Potential effect of the marine carbon cycle on the multiple equilibria window of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

Amber Adore Boot, Anna S. von der Heydt, and Henk A. Dijkstra

Abstract. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is considered to be a tipping element in the Earth System due to possible multiple (stable) equilibria. Here, we investigate the multiple equilibria window of the AMOC within a coupled ocean circulation-carbon cycle box model. We show that adding couplings between the ocean circulation and the carbon cycle model affects the multiple equilibria window of the AMOC. Increasing the total carbon content of the system widens the multiple equilibria window of the AMOC, since higher atmospheric pCO2 values are accompanied by stronger freshwater forcing over the Atlantic Ocean. The important mechanisms behind the increase of the multiple equilibria window are the balance between the riverine source and the sediment sink of carbon and the sensitivity of the AMOC to freshwater forcing over the Atlantic Ocean. Our results suggest that changes in the marine carbon cycle can influence AMOC stability in future climates.

Amber Adore Boot, Anna S. von der Heydt, and Henk A. Dijkstra

Status: open (extended)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on esd-2023-30', Anonymous Referee #1, 09 Jan 2024 reply
Amber Adore Boot, Anna S. von der Heydt, and Henk A. Dijkstra

Data sets

ESD AABOOT AMOC MEW A. A. Boot, A. S. von der Heydt, H. A. Dijkstra https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10005999

Model code and software

ESD AABOOT AMOC MEW A. A. Boot, A. S. von der Heydt, H. A. Dijkstra https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10005999

Amber Adore Boot, Anna S. von der Heydt, and Henk A. Dijkstra

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Short summary
We investigate the multiple equilibria window (MEW) of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) within a box model. We find that increasing the total carbon content of the system widens the MEW of the AMOC. The important mechanisms at play are the balance between the source and sink of carbon and the sensitivity of the AMOC to freshwater forcing over the Atlantic Ocean. Our results suggest that changes in the marine carbon cycle can influence AMOC stability in future climates.
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