EGU24-3534, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Perturbation Potential Energy Bridging North Atlantic Ocean Forcing to Atmospheric Multidecadal Variability in the North Atlantic 

Hongyuan Zhao1, Jianping Li1,2, Yuan Liu1, Emerson Delarme1, and Ning Wang1
Hongyuan Zhao et al.
  • 1Frontiers Science Center for Deep Ocean Multi-spheres and Earth System (DOMES)/Key Laboratory of Physical Oceanography/Academy of Future Ocean/College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences/Center for Ocean Carbon Neutrality, Ocean University of China, Qingd
  • 2Laoshan Laboratory, Qingdao, China

The North Atlantic sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) are considered an important origin of the North Atlantic atmospheric multidecadal variability. Employing the perturbation potential energy (PPE) theory, we analyzed the energetics linking North Atlantic Ocean forcings to atmospheric multidecadal variability. Supporting the previous model results, a cyclic pattern involving the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) and North Atlantic tripole (NAT) is observed: positive AMO phase (AMO+, similarly hereafter) →NAT→AMO→NAT+, with a phase lag of approximately 15~20 years. An atmospheric mode characterized by basin-scale sea level pressure anomaly in the North Atlantic is associated with the AMO, which is termed as the North Atlantic uniformity (NAU). The AMO+ induces positive uniform PPE anomalies over the North Atlantic through precipitation heating, leading to decreased energy conversion to perturbation kinetic energy (PKE) and a large-scale anomalous cyclone. For the NAT+, tripolar SSTA result in tripolar PPE anomalies through accumulated tripolar precipitation. Anomalous energy conversions occur where the PPE anomaly gradient is large, which is explained by an energy balance derived from thermal wind relationship. The PKE around 15°N and 50°N (25°N and 75°N) increases (decreases), forming the anomalous anticyclone and cyclone at subtropical and subpolar region, respectively, known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The reverse holds for the NAT and AMO. As the phases of the ocean modes alternate, the energetics induce the NAU, NAO, NAU+, and NAO+ in sequence. The SSTA-PPE-PKE energetics processes contribute a comprehensive understanding of how the ocean influences atmosphere in the North Atlantic.

How to cite: Zhao, H., Li, J., Liu, Y., Delarme, E., and Wang, N.: Perturbation Potential Energy Bridging North Atlantic Ocean Forcing to Atmospheric Multidecadal Variability in the North Atlantic , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-3534,, 2024.

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