EGU24-2646, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

On the Formation and Maintenance of the Interannual Variability of the North Atlantic Oscillation

Yang Yang1, X. San Liang2,3, and Wei-Bang He4
Yang Yang et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, College of Ocean and Earth Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China (
  • 2Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, and Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
  • 3Division of Frontier Research, Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai), Zhuhai, China
  • 4Department of Atmospheric Sciences, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI, USA

Motivated by the observation that the interannual variability of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is associated with the ensemble emergence of individual NAO events occurring on the intraseasonal time scale, one naturally wonders how the intraseasonal processes cause the interannual variability, and what the dynamics are underlying the multiscale interaction. Using a novel time-dependent and spatially localized multiscale energetics formalism, this study investigates the dynamical sources for the NAO events with different phases and interannual regimes. For the positive-phase events (NAO+), the intraseasonal-scale kinetic energy (K1) over the North Atlantic sector is significantly enhanced for NAO+ occurring in the negative NAO winter regime (NW), compared to those in the positive winter regime (PW). It is caused by the enhanced inverse cascading from synoptic transients and reduced energy dispersion during the life cycle of NAO+ in NW. For the negative-phase events (NAO), K1 is significantly larger during the early and decay stages of NAO in NW than that in PW, whereas the reverse occurs in the peak stage. Inverse cascading and baroclinic energy conversion are primary drivers in the formation of the excessive K1 during the early stage of NAO in NW, whereas only the latter contributes to the larger K1 during the decay stage of NAO in NW compared to that in PW. The barotropic transfer from the mean flow, inverse cascading and baroclinic energy conversion are all responsible for the strengthened K1 in the peak stage of NAO in PW.

How to cite: Yang, Y., Liang, X. S., and He, W.-B.: On the Formation and Maintenance of the Interannual Variability of the North Atlantic Oscillation, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-2646,, 2024.