Decadal to centennial variability of the Atlantic from observations and models

Thomas L. Delworth, Rong Zhang, Michael E. Mann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

59 Scopus citations


Some aspects of multidecadal Atlantic climate variability, and its impact on regional and hemispheric scale climate, are reviewed. Observational analyses have documented distinct patterns of Atlantic variability with decadal (8-12 years) and multidecadal (30-80 years) time scales. Numerical models have succeeded in capturing some aspects of this observed variability, but much work remains to understand the mechanisms of the observed variability. The impacts of the variability-particularly on the multidecadal time scale-are striking, including modulation of African and Indian summer monsoon rainfall, summer climate over North America and Europe, and a potential influence on Atlantic hurricane activity. Some of the observed variability, particularly in recent decades, is likely influenced by changing radiative forcings, of both anthropogenic and natural origin. This poses an important challenge for the detection, attribution and prediction of climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOcean Circulation
Subtitle of host publicationMechanisms and Impacts?Past and Future Changes of Meridional Overturning, 2007
EditorsAndreas Schmittner, John C. H. Chiang, Sidney R. Hemming
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781118666241
ISBN (Print)9780875904382
StatePublished - 2007

Publication series

NameGeophysical Monograph Series
ISSN (Print)0065-8448
ISSN (Electronic)2328-8779

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics


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