A regime view of the North Atlantic Oscillation and its response to anthropogenic forcing
Woollings, T. , Hannachi, A. , Hoskins, B. and Turner, A. (2010) A regime view of the North Atlantic Oscillation and its response to anthropogenic forcing. Journal of Climate, 23 (6). pp. 1291-1307. ISSN 1520-0442
To link to this article DOI: 10.1175/2009JCLI3087.1
The distribution of the daily wintertime North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index in the 40-yr ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-40) is significantly negatively skewed. Dynamical and statistical analyses both suggest that this skewness reflects the presence of two distinct regimes—referred to as “Greenland blocking” and “subpolar jet.” Changes in both the relative occurrence and in the structure of the regimes are shown to contribute to the long-term NAO trend over the ERA-40 period. This is contrasted with the simulation of the NAO in 100-yr control and doubled CO2 integrations of the third climate configuration of the Met Office Unified Model (HadCM3). The model has clear deficiencies in its simulation of the NAO in the control run, so its predictions of future behavior must be treated with caution. However, the subpolar jet regime does become more dominant under anthropogenic forcing and, while this change is small it is clearly statistically significant and does represent a real change in the nature of NAO variability in the model.