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Emerging negative Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation index in spite of warm subtropics

Emerging negative Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation index in spite of warm subtropics
Emerging negative Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation index in spite of warm subtropics
Sea surface temperatures in the northern North Atlantic have shown a marked decrease over the past several years. The sea surface in the subpolar gyre is now as cold as it was during the last cold phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation index in the 1990s. This climate index is associated with shifts in hurricane activity, rainfall patterns and intensity, and changes in fish populations. However, unlike the last cold period in the Atlantic, the spatial pattern of sea surface temperature anomalies in the Atlantic is not uniformly cool, but instead has anomalously cold temperatures in the subpolar gyre, warm temperatures in the subtropics and cool anomalies over the tropics. The tripole pattern of anomalies has increased the subpolar to subtropical meridional gradient in SSTs, which are not represented by the AMO index value, but which may lead to increased atmospheric baroclinicity and storminess. Here we show that the recent Atlantic cooling is likely to persist, as predicted by a statistical forecast of subsurface ocean temperatures and consistent with the irreversible nature of watermass changes involved in the recent cooling of the subpolar gyre.
2045-2322
Frajka-Williams, Eleanor
da86044e-0f68-4cc9-8f60-7fdbc4dc19cb
Beaulieu, Claudie
13ae2c11-ebfe-48d9-bda9-122cd013c021
Duchez, Aurelie
d73f2e60-bc41-4fb5-9686-6e12048a6f2d
Frajka-Williams, Eleanor
da86044e-0f68-4cc9-8f60-7fdbc4dc19cb
Beaulieu, Claudie
13ae2c11-ebfe-48d9-bda9-122cd013c021
Duchez, Aurelie
d73f2e60-bc41-4fb5-9686-6e12048a6f2d

Frajka-Williams, Eleanor, Beaulieu, Claudie and Duchez, Aurelie (2017) Emerging negative Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation index in spite of warm subtropics. Scientific Reports, 7, [11224]. (doi:10.1038/s41598-017-11046-x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Sea surface temperatures in the northern North Atlantic have shown a marked decrease over the past several years. The sea surface in the subpolar gyre is now as cold as it was during the last cold phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation index in the 1990s. This climate index is associated with shifts in hurricane activity, rainfall patterns and intensity, and changes in fish populations. However, unlike the last cold period in the Atlantic, the spatial pattern of sea surface temperature anomalies in the Atlantic is not uniformly cool, but instead has anomalously cold temperatures in the subpolar gyre, warm temperatures in the subtropics and cool anomalies over the tropics. The tripole pattern of anomalies has increased the subpolar to subtropical meridional gradient in SSTs, which are not represented by the AMO index value, but which may lead to increased atmospheric baroclinicity and storminess. Here we show that the recent Atlantic cooling is likely to persist, as predicted by a statistical forecast of subsurface ocean temperatures and consistent with the irreversible nature of watermass changes involved in the recent cooling of the subpolar gyre.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 8 August 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 11 September 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 414007
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/414007
ISSN: 2045-2322
PURE UUID: 8c35e831-bb20-4d9a-a84a-23baf579aea7
ORCID for Eleanor Frajka-Williams: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8773-7838

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Sep 2017 16:31
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 01:57

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