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A review of the role of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation in Atlantic multidecadal variability and associated climate impacts

A review of the role of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation in Atlantic multidecadal variability and associated climate impacts
A review of the role of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation in Atlantic multidecadal variability and associated climate impacts

By synthesizing recent studies employing a wide range of approaches (modern observations, paleo reconstructions, and climate model simulations), this paper provides a comprehensive review of the linkage between multidecadal Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) variability and Atlantic Multidecadal Variability (AMV) and associated climate impacts. There is strong observational and modeling evidence that multidecadal AMOC variability is a crucial driver of the observed AMV and associated climate impacts and an important source of enhanced decadal predictability and prediction skill. The AMOC-AMV linkage is consistent with observed key elements of AMV. Furthermore, this synthesis also points to a leading role of the AMOC in a range of AMV-related climate phenomena having enormous societal and economic implications, for example, Intertropical Convergence Zone shifts; Sahel and Indian monsoons; Atlantic hurricanes; El Niño–Southern Oscillation; Pacific Decadal Variability; North Atlantic Oscillation; climate over Europe, North America, and Asia; Arctic sea ice and surface air temperature; and hemispheric-scale surface temperature. Paleoclimate evidence indicates that a similar linkage between multidecadal AMOC variability and AMV and many associated climate impacts may also have existed in the preindustrial era, that AMV has enhanced multidecadal power significantly above a red noise background, and that AMV is not primarily driven by external forcing. The role of the AMOC in AMV and associated climate impacts has been underestimated in most state-of-the-art climate models, posing significant challenges but also great opportunities for substantial future improvements in understanding and predicting AMV and associated climate impacts.

Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, Atlantic Multidecadal Variability, Climate Impacts, Climate Model Biases, Decadal Predictability, Paleo Reconstructions
8755-1209
Zhang, Rong
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Sutton, Rowan
6ec4d816-4095-4d4b-a661-3a6f26d580be
Danabasoglu, Gokhan
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Kwon, Young Oh
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Marsh, Robert
fd873210-a928-4042-8b8f-effe5cd3d7ad
Yeager, Stephen G.
e1bdb029-cab0-4ee1-993e-6068918b1103
Amrhein, Danial E.
12a2df38-f6a9-4186-8fe4-415acd1edcfe
Little, Christopher M.
fa7446be-e6f0-4681-8120-f39574792607
Zhang, Rong
3be8f78f-f079-4a3f-a151-76ecd5f378f4
Sutton, Rowan
6ec4d816-4095-4d4b-a661-3a6f26d580be
Danabasoglu, Gokhan
23614e21-baa6-4242-b546-1134267b64c3
Kwon, Young Oh
6d5c7424-e521-4429-92ca-73d916ecd3dd
Marsh, Robert
fd873210-a928-4042-8b8f-effe5cd3d7ad
Yeager, Stephen G.
e1bdb029-cab0-4ee1-993e-6068918b1103
Amrhein, Danial E.
12a2df38-f6a9-4186-8fe4-415acd1edcfe
Little, Christopher M.
fa7446be-e6f0-4681-8120-f39574792607

Zhang, Rong, Sutton, Rowan, Danabasoglu, Gokhan, Kwon, Young Oh, Marsh, Robert, Yeager, Stephen G., Amrhein, Danial E. and Little, Christopher M. (2019) A review of the role of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation in Atlantic multidecadal variability and associated climate impacts. Reviews of Geophysics. (doi:10.1029/2019RG000644).

Record type: Review

Abstract

By synthesizing recent studies employing a wide range of approaches (modern observations, paleo reconstructions, and climate model simulations), this paper provides a comprehensive review of the linkage between multidecadal Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) variability and Atlantic Multidecadal Variability (AMV) and associated climate impacts. There is strong observational and modeling evidence that multidecadal AMOC variability is a crucial driver of the observed AMV and associated climate impacts and an important source of enhanced decadal predictability and prediction skill. The AMOC-AMV linkage is consistent with observed key elements of AMV. Furthermore, this synthesis also points to a leading role of the AMOC in a range of AMV-related climate phenomena having enormous societal and economic implications, for example, Intertropical Convergence Zone shifts; Sahel and Indian monsoons; Atlantic hurricanes; El Niño–Southern Oscillation; Pacific Decadal Variability; North Atlantic Oscillation; climate over Europe, North America, and Asia; Arctic sea ice and surface air temperature; and hemispheric-scale surface temperature. Paleoclimate evidence indicates that a similar linkage between multidecadal AMOC variability and AMV and many associated climate impacts may also have existed in the preindustrial era, that AMV has enhanced multidecadal power significantly above a red noise background, and that AMV is not primarily driven by external forcing. The role of the AMOC in AMV and associated climate impacts has been underestimated in most state-of-the-art climate models, posing significant challenges but also great opportunities for substantial future improvements in understanding and predicting AMV and associated climate impacts.

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Accepted/In Press date: 18 April 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 29 April 2019
Keywords: Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, Atlantic Multidecadal Variability, Climate Impacts, Climate Model Biases, Decadal Predictability, Paleo Reconstructions

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 432285
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/432285
ISSN: 8755-1209
PURE UUID: cd3fadce-9862-4db1-8dbe-811502894237

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Date deposited: 08 Jul 2019 16:30
Last modified: 09 Dec 2019 17:34

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Contributors

Author: Rong Zhang
Author: Rowan Sutton
Author: Gokhan Danabasoglu
Author: Young Oh Kwon
Author: Robert Marsh
Author: Stephen G. Yeager
Author: Danial E. Amrhein
Author: Christopher M. Little

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