Dynamics of the temperature regime of the North Atlantic coastal zone as an indicator of changes in the system of thermohaline circulation

Keywords: climate, climate change, thermohaline circulation, Gulf Stream, Atlantic Ocean


The purpose of the article is to analyze dynamics of the temperature regime of the surface layer of the atmosphere in the coastal zone of the North Atlantic as an indicator of changes in the thermohaline circulation system. In carrying out the research, comparative-geographical and historical statistical methods of the analysis of meteorological series were used. For research, 20 control points of the eastern part of the United States and Western Europe, which are located along the flow course of the Gulf Stream, are selected. In the selected points, by means of the linear trend method, the regularities of the dynamics of the mean annual, average maximum and average minimum temperatures of the atmospheric surface layer for the period from 1973 to 2013 have been established. The results of the study showed that, contrary to the hypothesis of fall in temperature in Europe, an increase in average annual and average maximum temperatures is observed in all control points of the region - the range means the linear trend is from 0.9 to 4.4 o F and from 0.3 to 3.8 o F respectively. In most US control points, the average annual temperature rises from 0.1 to 3 o F and the average maximum temperature rises from 0.2 to 2.1 oF. For four points of the United States the decrease in the values of the linear trend of average annual temperatures is from -0.4 to -1.2 o F; for three points - a decrease in average maximum temperatures is from -1.3 to -1.9 o F. At 9 control points in the USA and 8 control points in Europe, the average values of the minimum temperatures in the research period increased - in the USA, from 0.1 to 3.1 o F; in Europe from 0.3 to 4.6 o F. The opposite dynamics in the regions is observed for the values of the temperature amplitude. In most control points in Europe, the difference between the average maximum and the average minimum annual temperatures ranged from 0.4 to 6.6 o F; in most US destinations, on the contrary, a decrease in the amplitude value from -1.6 to -3 oF is observed. The analysis of the temperature dynamics of the surface layer of the atmosphere indicates the prevailing warming processes in the coastalzone of the North Atlantic, more intense for control points in Western Europe. The obtained data give grounds for refuting hypotheses of the presence of critical deviations in the thermohaline circulation system of the Atlantic Ocean, which could lead to a cooling in the Northern Hemisphere. The change in the amplitude values is a manifestation of increasing instability of the climate, which is likely to remain in the future with a general increase in the mean annual temperature in the region.

Author Biographies

N. V. Maksymenko
V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University
Yu. V. Medvedeva
Харківський національний університет імені В. Н. Каразіна
N. I. Cherkashyna
V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University


1. Bryden, H. L., Longworth, H. R. & Cunningham, S. A. (2005). Slowing of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation at 25o N. Nature, 438, 655- 657. doi: 10.1038/nature04385
2. Hopkin, M. (2006). Gulf Stream weakened in 'Little Ice Age'. Nature News. doi:10.1038/news061127-8
3. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2013). Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate. New York, USA and Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
4. Karlin, L. N., Malinin, V. N. & Gordeyeva, S. M. (2013). Izmenchivost gidrofizicheskikh kharakteristik v Golfstrime [Variability of hydrophysical characteristics in the Gulf Stream]. Okeanologiya, 53 (4), 401-409. doi:10.7868/S0030157413040047 (in Russian).
5. Klein Tank, A. (2004). Changing temperature and precipitation extremes in Europe’s climate of the 20th century.(PhD dissertation). Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
6. Klein Tank, A. & Können, G. P. (1997) Simple temperature scenario for a Gulf-stream induced climate change. Climatic Change, 37 (3), 505-512.
7. Kholoptsev, A. V. & Kuzmenko, V. G. (2012). Svyazi izmeneniy srednemesyachnykh znacheniy obshchego soderzhaniya ozona nad Arktikoy s temperaturoy vod, perenosimykh techeniyami, obrazuyushchikh Golfstrim, pri sovremennom poteplenii klimata [Connection between changes in monthly average values of the total content of
ozone over the Arctic and temperature of water, transferred by the currents forming the Gulf Stream, in the context of contemporary warming of the climate]. Lyudyna ta dovkillya. Problemy neoekologiyi, 1-2, 26-35 (in Russian).
8. Korzun V. A. (2012). Izmeneniya klimata: prichiny, prognozy, vozmozhnyye posledstviya dlya mirovoy ekonomiki[Climate change: causes, forecasts, possible consequences for the global economy]. Moskva: IMEMO RAN (in Russian).
9. Liu, W., Xie, S.-P., Liu, Z. & Zhu, J. (2018). Overlooked possibility of a collapsed Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation in warming climate, Science Advances, 3(1), 1-7. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1601666
10. Loginov, V. F. & Tabalchuk, T. G. (2014). Izmenchivost velichiny trendov temperatury v godovom khode [Variability of the intensity of temperature trends in the annual variations]. Prirodopolzovaniye, 26, 6-10(in Russian).
11. Maksymenko, N. V. & Beliaeva, I. V. (2012). Zahalna meteorolohiia i klimatolohiia: navch. posib. dlia stud. VNZ [General Meteorology and Climatology: training manual for students of higher education]. Kharkiv: V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (In Ukrainian).
12. Malinin, V. N. (2012). Golfstrim i klimat Evropy [Gulf Stream and the climate of Europe]. Obshchestvo. Sreda. Razvitiye, 1, 214-220 (in Russian).
13. McGuire, B. (2003). Will global warming trigger a new ice age? The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2003/ nov/13/comment.research
14. Merzlikin, V. G. (2011) Otsenka vliyaniya neftyanykh zagryazneniy na vodno-teplovoy rezhim atlanticheskogo techeniya Golfstrim [Assessment of the impact of oil pollution on the water-thermal regime of the Atlantic Gulf Stream]. Vestnik MGTU im. N.E. Baumana. Seriya «Estestvennyye nauki», 1, 106-123(in Russian).
15. Polevanov, V. P. (2011) Politicheskaya klimatologiya XXI veka [Political climatology of XXI century]. Tekhnika Molodezhi, 11 (in Russian).
16. Rossby, T., Flagg, C. N., Donohue, K., Sanchez‐Franks A. & LillibridgeJ. (2014). On the long-term stability of Gulf Stream transport based on 20 years of direct measurements. Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (1), 114-120. doi: 10.1002/2013GL058636
17. Seager, R., Battisti, D. S., Yin, J., Gordon, N., Naik, N., Clement, A. C. & Cane, M. A. (2002). Is the Gulf Stream responsible for Europe's mild winters? Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 128(586), 2563-2586. doi: 10.1256/qj.01.128
18. Simmonds, I. & Govekar, P. D. (2014). What are the physical links between Arctic sea ice loss and Eurasian winter climate? Environmental Research Letters, 9 (10), 1-3. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/9/10/101003
19. Thornalley, D. J. R., Oppo, D. W., Ortega, P., Robson, J. I., Brierley, C. M., Davis, R., Hall, I. R., MoffaSanchez, P., Rose, L. N., Spooner, P. T., Yashayaev, I. & Keigwin, L. D. (2018). Anomalously weak Labrador Sea convection and Atlantic overturning during the past 150 years. Nature, 556, 227-230. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0007-4
20. Volodin, E. M. (2011). Chto na samom dele sluchilos s Golfstrimom [What really happened to the Gulf Stream]. Nauka i zhizn, 3 (in Russian).
21. Zelenina, L. I. &Antipin, A. L. (2015) Ldy Arktiki: monitoring i mery adaptatsii [Ice of the Arctic: monitoring and adaptation measures]. Arktika i Sever, 18, 122-130 (in Russian).
How to Cite
Maksymenko, N., Medvedeva, Y., & Cherkashyna, N. (2019). Dynamics of the temperature regime of the North Atlantic coastal zone as an indicator of changes in the system of thermohaline circulation. Journal of Geology, Geography and Geoecology, 27(3), 478-484. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.15421/111871