Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 56, Issue 24, pp 2635–2643 | Cite as

Mechanism of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge overflow variation under different atmospheric CO2 scenarios

  • Lin MuEmail author
  • Jun Song
  • LinHao Zhong
  • LanNing Wang
  • Huan Li
  • Yan Li
Open Access
Article Oceanology


Baroclinic transport and the barotropic effect are two different viewpoints for understanding the mechanism of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge overflow. The mechanism of this overflow, being an important deep branch of thermohaline circulation, deserves research discussion, especially against the background of global warming. Using the newly developed ECHAM5/MPI-OM, of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, which is an advanced atmosphere-sea ice-ocean coupled climate model, the mechanism of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge overflow variation under different atmospheric CO2 scenarios is studied. First, a control experiment is forced by a fixed CO2 concentration of 280 ppmv, which is the pre-industrial level before 1860. Three sensitive experiments are carried out under different scenarios of increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations, which are listed in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report (B1, A1B and A2). In the control run, more water with higher salinity intruding into the Greenland-Icelandic-Norwegian Seas results in greater barotropic transport and greater overflow because of the baroclinic effect. Therefore, the barotropic effect and baroclinic effect on the overflow are unified. Under the atmospheric CO2 scenarios, the strength of overflow across the Faro-Bank Channel is controlled by the baroclinic effect and the increase in Denmark Strait overflow is attributed to the barotropic effect.


Greenland-Scotland Ridge overflow CO2 global warming dynamic mechanism numerical model 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lin Mu
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Jun Song
    • 1
  • LinHao Zhong
    • 2
  • LanNing Wang
    • 3
  • Huan Li
    • 1
  • Yan Li
    • 1
  1. 1.National Marine Data and Information ServiceTianjinChina
  2. 2.Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Beijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.Max-Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburgGermany

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