The SST multidecadal variability in the Atlantic-Mediterranean region and its relation to AMO

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Abstract

Two sea surface temperature (SST) time series, the Extended Reconstructed SST version 3 (ERSST.v3) and the Hadley Centre Sea Ice and Sea Surface Temperature dataset (HadISST), are used to investigate SST multidecadal variability in the Mediterranean Sea and to explore possible connections with other regions of the global ocean. The consistency between these two time series and the original International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Dataset version 2.5 (ICOADS 2.5) over the Mediterranean Sea is investigated, evaluating differences from monthly to multidecadal scales. From annual to longer time scales, the two time series consistently describe the same trends and multidecadal oscillations and agree with Mediterranean ICOADS SSTs. At monthly time scales the two time series are less consistent with each other because of the evident annual cycle that characterizes their difference. The subsequent analysis of the Mediterranean annual SST time series, based on lagged-correlation analysis, multitaper method (MTM), and singular spectral analysis (SSA), revealed the presence of a significant oscillation with a period of about 70 yr, very close to that of the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO). An extension of the analysis to other World Ocean regions confirmed that the predominance of this multidecadal signal with respect to longer period trends is a unique feature of the Mediterranean and North Atlantic Ocean, where it reaches its maximum at subpolar latitudes. Signatures of multidecadal oscillations are also found in the global SST time series after removing centennial and longer-term components. The analysis also reveals that Mediterranean SST and North Atlantic indices are significantly correlated and coherent for periods longer than about 40 yr. For time scales in the range 40-55 yr the coherence between the Mediterranean and subpolar gyre temperatures is higher than the coherence between the Mediterranean SST and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) or AMO. Finally, the results of the analysis are discussed in the light of possible climate mechanisms that can couple the Mediterranean Sea with the North Atlantic and the Global Ocean. © 2011 American Meteorological Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4385 - 4401
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume24
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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