Thursday, 8 October 2015

Can you predict the AMOC?

Join the experts and respond to the RAPID Challenge 2015 

On 15th October scientists and engineers from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) leave Southampton for a 6-week expedition on RRS Discovery (IV) to gather the most recent data from the RAPID array of moorings across the Atlantic from Florida to Morocco. The moorings, with sensors that measure temperature, salinity and currents from the sea floor to near the surface, monitor the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) at 26°N.  
The AMOC with the moorings of the RAPID array at 26 North

The AMOC transports heat northwards in the Atlantic, and is important for the climate of Northwest Europe.  Recent studies indicate that it is decreasing in strength, and the decline in heat transport has been implicated in the formation of a 'cold blob' in the North Atlantic.   

Understanding of the AMOC has advanced greatly since the start of RAPID in 2004.  We now know much more about its variability, and the new knowledge allows ocean and climate scientists to make improved predictions about how the AMOC will change. 

Data is collected from the RAPID array of moorings once every 18 months, and ten years of data is now available to ocean and climate scientists from the RAPID website.  Earlier this year the  team that looks after the RAPID array challenged other ocean and climate experts to ‘predict’ what the new data will show once it has been gathered and analysed.  The response from a team at Oxford University is the first post on this blog.  If other experts join in the challenge, we will report on their thinking as well.

Now the RAPID Challenge has been opened to the wider community.  If you read this, and want to have a go at your own ocean prediction, you are very welcome to download the data, carry out your own analysis, and let us have your own estimate.

The RAPID Challenge web pages at provide some of the scientific background information.  It also gives access to the time-series of AMOC data so far, and allows you to submit your own estimate of what the new data for the 18 months from April 2014 to September 2015 will show.

The deadline for submission is 31st December 2015.  In early 2016 a preliminary analysis of the new data will be available.  The estimates that come closest will be published on the RAPID website and awarded a Discovery mug.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea. I'm going to get my time series students to enter.