Meridional (north-south) overturning circulation in the ocean quantified by zonal (east-west) sums of mass transports in depth or density layers. In the north atlantic, away from the subpolar regions, the moc (which is in principle an observable quantity) is often identified with the thermohaline circulation, which is a conceptual interpretation. However, it must be borne in mind that moc can also include shallower, winddriven overturning cells such as occur in the upper ocean in the tropics and subtropics, in which warm (less dense) waters moving poleward are transformed to slightly denser waters and subducted equatorward at deeper levels | Source: IPCC

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