EGU22-5694, updated on 30 Mar 2023
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Contribution of the Atlantic Ocean to European Heat Extremes

Lara Hellmich1,2, Daniela Matei1, Laura Suarez-Gutierrez1, and Wolfgang A. Müller1
Lara Hellmich et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany (
  • 2International Max Planck Research School for Earth System Modelling (IMPRS), Hamburg, Germany
Mechanisms explaining the internal variability of mean summer temperatures have been
found on seasonal to sub- and multi-decadal timescales, but their contribution to variability
in extreme temperatures is not fully established. Here, we investigate the sub-decadal (5-
10yr) variability of European summer heat extremes and their potential drivers. By using
reanalyses (ERA5/ORA-20C) and the Max Planck Institute Grand Ensemble (MPI-GE), we
identify dominant timescales of temperature extremes variability over Europe. We are able
to link heat extremes over Central Europe with a southward development of a meridional
ocean heat transport anomaly over the North Atlantic (NA), starting about 6 years prior an
extreme event. This connection is reinforced by other variables such as ocean heat content
and atmospheric sea level pressure and jet stream displacement. The results indicate the
important role of the inertia of the NA for the occurrence of heat extremes over Europe, and
possibly help to improve their predictability several years ahead.

How to cite: Hellmich, L., Matei, D., Suarez-Gutierrez, L., and Müller, W. A.: Contribution of the Atlantic Ocean to European Heat Extremes, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5694,, 2022.


Display file

Comments on the display

to access the discussion