Connecting ocean heat transport changes from the mid-latitudes to the Arctic Ocean
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Geophysical Institute 
Under greenhouse warming, climate models simulate a weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and the associated ocean heat transport at midlatitudes but an increase in the ocean heat transport to the Arctic Ocean. These opposing trends lead to what could appear to be a discrepancy in the reported ocean contribution to Arctic amplification. This study clarifies how ocean heat transport affects Arctic climate under strong greenhouse warming using a set of the 21st century simulations performed within the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. The results suggest that a future reduction in subpolar ocean heat loss enhances ocean heat transport to the Arctic Ocean, driving an increase in Arctic Ocean heat content and contributing to the intermodel spread in Arctic amplification. The results caution against extrapolating the forced oceanic signal from the midlatitudes to the Arctic.