skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: On the Relative Roles of the Atmosphere and Ocean in the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability

Abstract

In this study, the relative roles of the ocean and atmosphere in driving the Atlantic multidecadal variability (AMV) are investigated by isolating anomalous sea surface temperature (SST) components forced by anomalous surface heat fluxes and ocean dynamics in fully and partially coupled simulations. The impact of the ocean dynamics-forced SST on air-sea interaction is disabled in the partially coupled simulation in order to isolate the atmosphere-forced variability. The atmosphere-forced AMV component shows weak but significant variability on interdecadal timescales (10- to 30-year periods), while the ocean-forced component exhibits a strong multidecadal variability (25- to 50-year periods). When coupled to the atmosphere, this ocean-forced variability weakens and is imprinted on the coupled surface heat fluxes that further act to damp the ocean-forced SST variability, causing a much weaker fully coupled AMV. In conclusion, our results suggest that the AMV is largely driven by ocean circulation variability, but its power is also affected by the strength of air-sea coupling.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  2. Ocean Univ. of China, Qingdao (China)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1544210
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830; AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 45; Journal Issue: 17; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 58 GEOSCIENCES; climate variability; Atlantic multidecadal variability; air-sea interactions

Citation Formats

Garuba, Oluwayemi A., Lu, Jian, Singh, Hansi A., Liu, Fukai, and Rasch, Phil. On the Relative Roles of the Atmosphere and Ocean in the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1029/2018GL078882.
Garuba, Oluwayemi A., Lu, Jian, Singh, Hansi A., Liu, Fukai, & Rasch, Phil. On the Relative Roles of the Atmosphere and Ocean in the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability. United States. doi:10.1029/2018GL078882.
Garuba, Oluwayemi A., Lu, Jian, Singh, Hansi A., Liu, Fukai, and Rasch, Phil. Wed . "On the Relative Roles of the Atmosphere and Ocean in the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability". United States. doi:10.1029/2018GL078882. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1544210.
@article{osti_1544210,
title = {On the Relative Roles of the Atmosphere and Ocean in the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability},
author = {Garuba, Oluwayemi A. and Lu, Jian and Singh, Hansi A. and Liu, Fukai and Rasch, Phil},
abstractNote = {In this study, the relative roles of the ocean and atmosphere in driving the Atlantic multidecadal variability (AMV) are investigated by isolating anomalous sea surface temperature (SST) components forced by anomalous surface heat fluxes and ocean dynamics in fully and partially coupled simulations. The impact of the ocean dynamics-forced SST on air-sea interaction is disabled in the partially coupled simulation in order to isolate the atmosphere-forced variability. The atmosphere-forced AMV component shows weak but significant variability on interdecadal timescales (10- to 30-year periods), while the ocean-forced component exhibits a strong multidecadal variability (25- to 50-year periods). When coupled to the atmosphere, this ocean-forced variability weakens and is imprinted on the coupled surface heat fluxes that further act to damp the ocean-forced SST variability, causing a much weaker fully coupled AMV. In conclusion, our results suggest that the AMV is largely driven by ocean circulation variability, but its power is also affected by the strength of air-sea coupling.},
doi = {10.1029/2018GL078882},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 17,
volume = 45,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {8}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 3 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

The CCSM4 Ocean Component
journal, March 2012

  • Danabasoglu, Gokhan; Bates, Susan C.; Briegleb, Bruce P.
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 25, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00091.1

Mechanisms of ocean heat uptake in a coupled climate model and the implications for tracer based predictions of ocean heat uptake
journal, January 2006

  • Banks, Helene T.; Gregory, Jonathan M.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 33, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1029/2005GL025352

The Basic Effects of Atmosphere–Ocean Thermal Coupling on Midlatitude Variability*
journal, February 1998


The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation without a role for ocean circulation
journal, October 2015


Multidecadal Thermohaline Circulation Variability Driven by Atmospheric Surface Flux Forcing
journal, May 2000


The Active Role of the Ocean in the Temporal Evolution of Climate Sensitivity: OCEAN'S ACTIVE ROLE
journal, January 2018

  • Garuba, Oluwayemi A.; Lu, Jian; Liu, Fukai
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1002/2017GL075633

A Model of Decadal Middle-Latitude Atmosphere–Ocean Coupled Modes
journal, February 1999


Atlantic hurricanes and natural variability in 2005
journal, January 2006

  • Trenberth, Kevin E.; Shea, Dennis J.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 33, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1029/2006GL026894

Ocean Heat Uptake and Interbasin Transport of the Passive and Redistributive Components of Surface Heating
journal, October 2016


Mechanisms of internally generated decadal-to-multidecadal variability of SST in the Atlantic Ocean in a coupled GCM
journal, May 2015


The drivers of projected North Atlantic sea level change
journal, October 2013


Sea surface temperature anomalies, planetary waves, and air-sea feedback in the middle latitudes
journal, January 1985


The surface heat flux feedback. Part II: direct and indirect estimates in the ECHAM4/OPA8 coupled GCM
journal, October 2002


The signature of low‐frequency oceanic forcing in the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation
journal, March 2016

  • O'Reilly, Christopher H.; Huber, Markus; Woollings, Tim
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 43, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1002/2016GL067925

Observed Decadal North Atlantic Tripole SST Variability. Part II: Diagnosis of Mechanisms
journal, January 2012

  • Schneider, Edwin K.; Fan, Meizhu
  • Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 69, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1175/JAS-D-11-019.1

Observed Decadal North Atlantic Tripole SST Variability. Part I: Weather Noise Forcing and Coupled Response
journal, January 2012

  • Fan, Meizhu; Schneider, Edwin K.
  • Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 69, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1175/JAS-D-11-018.1

North Atlantic Multidecadal Climate Variability: An Investigation of Dominant Time Scales and Processes
journal, July 2010

  • Frankcombe, Leela M.; von der Heydt, Anna; Dijkstra, Henk A.
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 23, Issue 13
  • DOI: 10.1175/2010JCLI3471.1

Insights into Atlantic multidecadal variability using the Last Millennium Reanalysis framework
journal, January 2018

  • Singh, Hansi K. A.; Hakim, Gregory J.; Tardif, Robert
  • Climate of the Past, Vol. 14, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.5194/cp-14-157-2018

Response to Comment on "The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation without a role for ocean circulation"
journal, June 2016


Comment on "The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation without a role for ocean circulation"
journal, June 2016


North Atlantic Ocean control on surface heat flux on multidecadal timescales
journal, July 2013

  • Gulev, Sergey K.; Latif, Mojib; Keenlyside, Noel
  • Nature, Vol. 499, Issue 7459
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature12268

Decadal predictability without ocean dynamics
journal, February 2017

  • Srivastava, Abhishekh; DelSole, Timothy
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1614085114

A signature of persistent natural thermohaline circulation cycles in observed climate
journal, January 2005


Climate Sensitivity of the Community Climate System Model, Version 4
journal, May 2012


The Flux-Anomaly-Forced Model Intercomparison Project (FAFMIP) contribution to CMIP6: investigation of sea-level and ocean climate change in response to CO 2 forcing
journal, January 2016

  • Gregory, Jonathan M.; Bouttes, Nathaelle; Griffies, Stephen M.
  • Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 9, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.5194/gmd-9-3993-2016

Atlantic multidecadal oceanic variability and its influence on the atmosphere in a climate model
journal, August 2008


Low-Pass Filtering, Heat Flux, and Atlantic Multidecadal Variability
journal, September 2017


The passive and active nature of ocean heat uptake in idealized climate change experiments
journal, April 2011


The ocean’s role in the transient response of climate to abrupt greenhouse gas forcing
journal, September 2014