Two Regimes of Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation: Cross-Basin Dependent or Atlantic-Intrinsic
The Atlantic Multidedal Oscillation (AMO) is a prominent mode of sea surface temperature variability in the Atlantic and incurs significant global influence. Most coupled models failed to reproduce the observed 50–80-year AMO, but were overwhelmed by a 10–30-year AMO. Here we show that the 50–80-year AMO and 10–30-year AMO represent two different AMO regimes. The key differences are: (1) the 50–80-year AMO involves transport of warm and saline Atlantic water into the Greenland-Iceland-Norwegian (GIN) Seas prior to reaching its maximum positive phase, while such a transport is weak for the 10–30-year AMO; (2) the zonality of atmospheric variability associated with the 50–80 year AMO favors the transport of warm and saline water into the GIN Seas; (3) the disappearance of Pacific variability weakens the zonality of atmospheric variability and the transport of warm and saline water into the GIN Seas, leading to the weakening of the 50–80-year AMO. In contrast, the 10–30-year AMO does not show dependence on the variability in Pacific and in the GIN Seas and may be an Atlantic-intrinsic mode. Our results suggest that differentiating these AMO regimes and a better understanding of the cross-basin connections are essential to reconcile the current debate on the nature of AMO and hence to its reliable prediction, which is still lacking in most of coupled models.