North Atlantic Interdecadal Variability: Oceanic response to the North Atlantic Oscillation (1865-1997)

Eden, Carsten and Jung, Thomas (2001) North Atlantic Interdecadal Variability: Oceanic response to the North Atlantic Oscillation (1865-1997) Journal of Climate, 14 (5). pp. 676-691. DOI 10.1175/1520-0442(2001)014<0676:NAIVOR>2.0.CO;2.

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Abstract

In contrast to the atmosphere, knowledge about interdecadal variability of the North Atlantic circulation is relatively restricted. It is the objective of this study to contribute to understanding how the North Atlantic circulation responds to a forcing by the North Atlantic oscillation (NAO) on interdecadal timescales. For this purpose, the authors analyze observed atmospheric and sea surface temperature (SST) data along with the response of an ocean general circulation model to a realistic monthly surface flux forcing that is solely associated with the NAO for the period 1865–1997.

In agreement with previous studies, it is shown that the relationship between the local forcing by the NAO and observed SST anomalies on interdecadal timescales points toward the importance of oceanic dynamics in generating SST anomalies. A comparison between observed and modeled SST anomalies reveals that the model results can be used to assess interdecadal variability of the North Atlantic circulation.

The observed/modeled developments of interdecadal SST anomalies during the periods 1915–39 and 1960–84 against the local damping influence from the NAO can be traced back to the lagged response (10–20 yr) of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation and the subpolar gyre strength to interdecadal variability of the NAO. Additional sensitivity experiments suggest that primarily interdecadal variability in the surface net heat flux forcing associated with the NAO governs interdecadal changes of the North Atlantic circulation

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
OceanRep > Institute for Marine Science Kiel
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1175/1520-0442(2001)014<0676:NAIVOR>2.0.CO;2
ISSN: 0894-8755
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:25
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2017 09:18
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/2962

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