The role of historical forcings in simulating the observed Atlantic multidecadal oscillation

Lisa N. Murphy, Katinka Bellomo, Mark Cane, Amy C Clement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

We analyze the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) in the preindustrial (PI) and historical (HIST) simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) to assess the drivers of the observed AMO from 1865 to 2005. We draw 141 year samples from the 41 CMIP5 model's PI runs and compare the correlation and variance between the observed AMO and the simulated PI and HIST AMO. The correlation coefficients in 38 forced (HIST) models are above the 90% confidence level and explain up to 56% of the observed variance. The probability that any of the unforced (PI) models do as well is less than 3% in 31 models. Multidecadal variability is larger in 39 CMIP5 HIST simulations and in all HIST members of the Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble than their corresponding PI. We conclude that there is an essential role for external forcing in driving the observed AMO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2472-2480
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume44
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 16 2017

Keywords

  • Atlantic multidecadal oscillation
  • CESM-LE
  • CMIP5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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