Timescale-dependent AMOC–AMO relationship in an earth system model of intermediate complexity

Hyo Jeong Kim, Soon Il An, Daehyun Kim

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7 Citations (Scopus)


The relationship between Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation (AMO) and Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) is examined with respect to two (inter- and multi-decadal) different timescales using a long-term unforced simulation of an earth system model of intermediate complexity. In the inter-decadal timescale, the AMO and the AMOC establish a self-sustaining oscillatory mode; the AMOC induces the positive AMO through meridional heat transport (MHT), but with the time delay of approximately 7 years as the AMOC anomalies propagate southward over time within the Atlantic basin. After then, the AMO reduces the density in the main sinking region and brings the negative phase of the AMOC, which results in the rest half of the cycle. On the other hand, in the multi-decadal timescale, the AMO and the AMOC are almost in phase because the AMOC is spatially stationary, resulting in a pan-Atlantic surface warming. In addition, the Arctic-originated density fluctuations are required for the multi-decadal AMOC to switch its phase. The results obtained in this study suggest that timescale dependency should be considered when investigating the AMOC–AMO relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E3298-E3306
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF‐2017K1A3A7A03087790, NRF‐2018R1A5A1024958) and LG foundation. H.‐J. Kim was supported by the Hyundai Motor Chung Mong‐Koo Foundation. The ERSSTv4 and SODA datasets are available at http://apdrc.soest.hawaii.edu/data/data.php , and LOVECLIM is available at https://www.elic.ucl.ac.be/modx/index.php?id=289 .

Funding Information:
Hyundai Motor Chung Mong‐Koo Foundation; LG foundation; National Research Foundation of Korea, Grant/Award Numbers: NRF‐2017K1A3A7A03087790, NRF‐2018R1A5A1024958 Funding information

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors International Journal of Climatology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal Meteorological Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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