EGU24-4367, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Intensified Atlantic Multidecadal Variability in a warming climate

Shujun Li, Lixin Wu, and Yiting Wang
Shujun Li et al.
  • Ocean University of China, Key Laboratory of Physical Oceanography, China (

The Atlantic Multidecadal Variability (AMV) is a basin-scale natural mode of the sea surface temperature (SST) in the North Atlantic, exerting a global impact, including contribution to the multidecadal Sahel drought and subsequent recovery and the post-1998 global warming hiatus. How greenhouse warming affects AMV remains unclear. Here, using models with multi-century-long outputs of future climate, we find an intensified AMV under greenhouse warming. Surface warming and freshwater input from sea ice melt increase surface buoyancy, leading to a slowdown of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). Reduced vertical mixing associated with the suppressed oceanic deep convection results in a thinned mixed layer and its variability, favoring stronger AMV SST variability. Further, a weakened AMOC and associated meridional heat advection prolong the lifespan of the AMV, providing a long time for the AMV to grow. Thus, multidecadal global surface fluctuations and the associated climate extremes are likely to be more intense.  

How to cite: Li, S., Wu, L., and Wang, Y.: Intensified Atlantic Multidecadal Variability in a warming climate, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-4367,, 2024.