The AMOC transports heat from the tropics and keeps Western Europe warm. In autumn 2015 the RRS Discovery will recover the moorings from the RAPID array across the Atlantic at 26 North. The data will tell the RAPID science team how the AMOC has changed over the past 18 months. Their challenge to you: can you predict these changes?
See what the experts predict, and follow the 26N team as they recover the moorings and analyse the data to learn the truth.
Thursday, 8 October 2015
Can you predict the AMOC?
Join the experts and respond to the RAPID
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 www.rapid.ac.uk/challenge/
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