CLIMATE VARIABILITY

By air and by sea

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Science  13 May 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6287, pp. 784-785
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6287.784-f

Ocean circulation is not the only driver of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). The AMO, characterized by multidecadal changes of sea surface temperatures throughout North Atlantic, has long been considered to be a result of deep ocean circulation variability, but evidence is building that atmospheric processes are an important cause, too. Brown et al. show that feedbacks between the surface ocean and overlying clouds are needed to produce an observed coherence of temperature change over the entire North Atlantic basin. A better understanding of what controls the AMO should help improve predictions of regional and global climate on decadal time scales.

Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1002/2016GL068303 (2016).

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