IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis
Figure 10.15

Figure 10.15. Evolution of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC) at 30°N in simulations with the suite of comprehensive coupled climate models (see Table 8.1 for model details) from 1850 to 2100 using 20th Century Climate in Coupled Models (20C3M) simulations for 1850 to 1999 and the SRES A1B emissions scenario for 1999 to 2100. Some of the models continue the integration to year 2200 with the forcing held constant at the values of year 2100. Observationally based estimates of late-20th century MOC are shown as vertical bars on the left. Three simulations show a steady or rapid slow down of the MOC that is unrelated to the forcing; a few others have late-20th century simulated values that are inconsistent with observational estimates. Of the model simulations consistent with the late-20th century observational estimates, no simulation shows an increase in the MOC during the 21st century; reductions range from indistinguishable within the simulated natural variability to over 50% relative to the 1960 to 1990 mean; and none of the models projects an abrupt transition to an off state of the MOC. Adapted from Schmittner et al. (2005) with additions.