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Likely weakening of the Florida Current during the past century revealed by sea-level observations
  • Christopher Piecuch
Christopher Piecuch
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Corresponding Author:cpiecuch@whoi.edu

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The Florida Current marks the beginning of the Gulf Stream at Florida Straits, and plays an important role in climate. Nearly continuous measurements of Florida Current transport are available at 27N since 1982. These data are too short for assessing possible multidecadal or centennial trends. Here I reconstruct Florida Current transport during 1909-2018 using probabilistic methods and principles of ocean physics applied to the available transport data and longer coastal sea-level records. Florida Current transport likely declined steadily during the past century. Transport since 1982 has likely been weaker on average than during 1909-1981. The weakest decadal-mean transport in the last 110 y likely took place in the past two decades. Results corroborate hypotheses that the deep branch of the overturning circulation declined over the recent past, and support relationships observed in climate models between the overturning and surface western boundary current transports at multidecadal and longer timescales.
07 Aug 2020Published in Nature Communications volume 11 issue 1. 10.1038/s41467-020-17761-w