monitoring the atlantic overturning circulation
Latest AMOC time series
Monitoring the AMOC at 26°N

Monitoring changes in the AMOC is important for understanding decadal climate variability and change. The RAPID array across the Atlantic at 26°N has now observed the AMOC continuously for 10 years, and revealed greater variability than expected.

Low AMOC events in 2009-10 and 2010-11 coincided with cold winters in Europe and suggest a previously unsuspected role for the AMOC in climate variability. Understanding this requires a longer time series of observations, so the array will continue until 2020.  

Project website   Data download   Science background


AMOC predictions: how skilled are they?
In 2015 the RAPID team challenged AMOC experts to predict what the data from the RAPID array would show. Some of their predictions, and reports from the latest RAPID cruise can be found on the
RAPID Challenge blog. After preliminary analysis of data from the array, the winners have now been found.

What does it take to collect a 10 year time series of the AMOC?   To find out take a look at the 10 years of RAPID blog from the 26°N team.

Overturning in the Sub-polar North Atlantic

OSNAP is a 5-year international program to monitor the AMOC in subpolar North Atlantic. The OSNAP observing system has two legs: one from southern Labrador to the tip of Greenland across the mouth of the Labrador Sea (OSNAP West), and the second from the tip of Greenland to Scotland (OSNAP East).
OSNAP complements RAPID to give a more complete picture of Atlantic overturning.

OSNAP schematic

OSNAP also uses subsurface floats to trace the pathways of overflow waters from the Nordic seas, and study currents crossing the OSNAP line.


OSNAP Publications  

AGU Journals Special Issue

Schematic of the AMOC

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation:
Reviews of Observational and Modeling Advances: Reviews of Geophysics.
Overview and Content

New papers will appear as they become ready for publication.

Current RAPID research projects

The RAPID AMOC programme is funding three research projects to address novel uses of data from the 26°N RAPID array:

  1. Novel approaches to ocean state estimation using 26.5°N data
  2. The role of the AMOC in climate variability and predictability
  3. Atlantic BiogeoChemical Fluxes

Three current projects started in October 2014 and are addressing these objectives. MORE

New Events

US AMOC - UK RAPID Monthly AMOC Webinar Series
From 21 May 2020. Focus on papers from the AGU special issue.
Details of talks and how to join

Atlantic overturning: new observations and challenges
8-9 March 2020. Royal Society scientific discussion meeting.
Meeting page on the Royal Society website

Past RAPID research programmes

RAPID AMOC builds on two earlier programmes:
RAPID (2001-2007) included palaeo-oceanography.
RAPID-WATCH (2008-2014) continued the RAPID arrays and model studies.

AMOC plot

Ten-day (colours) and three month low-pass (black) timeseries of Florida Straits transport (blue), Ekman transport (black), upper mid-ocean transport (magenta), and overturning transport (red) for the period 2nd April 2004 to February 2017. Florida Straits transport is based on electromagnetic cable measurements; Ekman transport is based on ERA winds. The upper mid-ocean transport, based on the RAPID time series, is the vertical integral of the transport per unit depth down to the deepest northward velocity (~1100 m) on each day. Overturning transport is then the sum of the Florida Straits, Ekman, and upper mid-ocean transports and represents the maximum northward transport of upper-layer waters on each day. Positive transports correspond to northward flow.

Transports across the OSNAP section