Anticorrelated multidecadal variations between surface and subsurface tropical North Atlantic

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Abstract

[1] In this paper for the first time I show that the multidecadal variations of observed tropical North Atlantic (TNA) sea surface temperature (SST) are strongly anticorrelated with those of the observed TNA subsurface ocean temperature, with long-term trends removed. I further show that the anticorrelated change between the TNA surface and subsurface temperature is a distinctive signature of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) variations, using water-hosing experiments with the GFDL state-of-art coupled climate model (CM2.1). External radiative forced simulations with the same model do not provide a significant relationship between the TNA surface and subsurface temperature variations. The observed detrended multidecadal TNA subsurface temperature anomaly may be taken as a proxy for the AMOC variability. Various mechanisms proposed for the multidecadal TNA SST variations, which are crucial for multidecadal variations of Atlantic hurricane activities, should take into account the observed anticorrelation between the TNA surface and subsurface temperature variations.

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