The North Atlantic oscillations: Lead-lag relations for the AMOC, the AMO, and the AMOC. A high-resolution lead-lag analysis
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Several studies examine cycle periods and the interactions between the three major climate modes over the North Atlantic, namely the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO), and the North Atlantic oscillation (NAO). Here, we use a relatively novel high-resolution lead–lag (LL) method to identify short time windows with per-sistent LL relations in the three series during the period from 1947 to 2020. We find that there are roughly 20-year time windows where LL relations change direction at both interannual, high-frequency and multidecadal, low-frequency timescales. However, with varying LL strength, the AMO leads AMOC for the full period at the interannual timescale. During the period from 1980 to 2000, we had the sequence NAO→AMO→AMOC→NAO at the interannual timescale. For the full period in the decadal time scale, we obtain NAO→AMO→AMOC. The Ekman variability closely follows the NAO variability. Both single time series and the LL relation between pairs of series show pseudo-oscillating patterns with cycle periods of about 20 years. We list possible mechanisms that contribute to the cyclic behavior, but no conclusive evidence has yet been found.