Insights into Atlantic multidecadal variability using the Last Millennium Reanalysis framework

Published in Climate of the Past, 2018

Recommended citation: Singh HKA, Hakim GJ, Tardif R, Emile-Geay J, Noone DC. (2018). "Insights into Atlantic multidecadal variability using the Last Millennium Reanalysis framework." Climate of the Past. 14: pp 157–174.

Abstract: The Last Millennium Reanalysis (LMR) employs a data assimilation approach to reconstruct climate fields from annually resolved proxy data over years 0–2000CE. We use the LMR to examine Atlantic multidecadal variability (AMV) over the last 2 millennia and find several robust thermodynamic features associated with a positive Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) index that reveal a dynamically consistent pattern of variability: the Atlantic and most continents warm; sea ice thins over the Arctic and retreats over the Greenland, Iceland, and Norwegian seas; and equatorial precipitation shifts northward. The latter is consistent with anomalous southward energy transport mediated by the atmosphere. Net downward shortwave radiation increases at both the top of the atmosphere and the surface, indicating a decrease in planetary albedo, likely due to a decrease in low clouds. Heat is absorbed by the climate system and the oceans warm. Wavelet analysis of the AMO time series shows a reddening of the frequency spectrum on the 50- to 100-year timescale, but no evidence of a distinct multidecadal or centennial spectral peak. This latter result is insensitive to both the choice of prior model and the calibration dataset used in the data assimilation algorithm, suggesting that the lack of a distinct multidecadal spectral peak is a robust result.

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