RAPID-WATCH

Programme overview

The RAPID-WATCH programme ran from 2007-2014, and followed the RAPID programme. Its aim was to deliver a decade-long time series of the strength and structure of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC). These observations, in conjunction with other relevant research and data, was used to determine and interpret recent changes in the Atlantic MOC, to improve assessment of the risk of rapid climate change due to MOC change, and to investigate the potential for predictions of the MOC and its impacts on climate.

Background & objectives

The work was carried out in collaboration with the Hadley Centre in the UK and strengthened through international partnerships, to address a fundamental stakeholder concern: "should we be worried about rapid climate change due to rapid MOC change?" As such, RAPID-WATCH was designed to deliver a robust and scientifically credible assessment of the risk to the UK and European climate due to a rapid change in the MOC. Additionally, it assessed the need for a long-term observing system that could detect major MOC changes, narrow uncertainty in projections of future change, and possibly initialise an 'early warning' prediction system.

Objectives

  • To deliver a decade-long time series of calibrated and quality-controlled measurements of the Atlantic MOC from the RAPID-WATCH arrays.
  • To exploit the data from the RAPID-WATCH arrays and elsewhere to determine and interpret recent changes in the Atlantic MOC, assess the risk of rapid climate change, and investigate the potential for predictions of the MOC and its impacts on climate.

Reports

The programme final report will be added shortly.