EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A centennial-scale Arctic - North Atlantic recharge oscillator in a coupled climate model

Robin Waldman1, Christophe Cassou2, and Aurore Voldoire1
Robin Waldman et al.
  • 1CNRM / Météo France-CNRS, Climate modelling group, Toulouse, France (
  • 2CECI, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, CERFACS, Toulouse, France

In global climate models, low-frequency natural variability related to the Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation is a common behaviour. Such intrinsic climate variability is a potential source of decadal climate predictability. However, over longer term scenario simulations, this natural variability becomes a major source of uncertainty. In this study, we document a large and sustained centennial variability in the 3500-year pre-industrial control run of the CNRM-CM6 coupled climate model which is driven by the North Atlantic ocean, and more specifically its meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). We propose a new AMOC dynamical decomposition highlighting the dominant role of mid-depth density anomalies at the western boundary as the driver of this centennial variability. We relate such density variability to deep convection and overflows in the western subpolar gyre, themselves controlled by and intense salinity variability of the upper layers. Finally, we show that such salinity variability is the result of periodic freshwater recharge and descharge events from the Arctic Ocean, themselves triggered by stochastic atmospheric forcing.

How to cite: Waldman, R., Cassou, C., and Voldoire, A.: A centennial-scale Arctic - North Atlantic recharge oscillator in a coupled climate model, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-5888,, 2021.

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