The connection between the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation and the Indian summer monsoon in CMIP5 models

  • Feifei Luo
  • Shuanglin Li
  • Yongqi Gao
  • Noel Keenlyside
  • Lea Svendsen
  • Tore Furevik


A number of observational and modeling studies have shown a co-relationship between higher than normal sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the North Atlantic and increased summer precipitation over India. However, discrepancies among the models make the robustness of the results debatable. This study examines the connections between the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) and the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) in 66 “Historical” runs of 22 coupled models that were part of the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). Diverse results are obtained, and correlation coefficients between the AMO and ISM range from − 0.39 to 0.66. Only 10 out of 66 members (~ 15%) show a positive correlation statistically significant at the 90% level (> 0.42), close to the observation (0.5). The models with positive AMO–ISM correlations show an AMO-related atmospheric teleconnection that involves an extratropical–tropical SST gradient in the North Pacific, as well as a more regional temperature difference between the Indian subcontinent and the tropical Indian Ocean. In comparison, the models with negative correlations fail to capture these teleconnections. Moreover, the models with higher climatological precipitation over the tropical Atlantic and warmer climatological SST in the tropical Atlantic and the North Pacific relative to multi-member ensemble, as well as a weak westerly jet, perform better at reproducing the observed teleconnections.



This study was jointly supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (41790473 and 41731177), the MOST key project (2016YFA0601802), the Natural Science Foundation of China (41375085 and 41421004), and the Strategic Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant XDA11010401). This study also contributes to the Research Council of Norway supported project IndiaClim (no. 216554). We acknowledge the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions that help to greatly improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Feifei Luo
    • 1
  • Shuanglin Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yongqi Gao
    • 1
    • 3
  • Noel Keenlyside
    • 3
    • 4
  • Lea Svendsen
    • 4
  • Tore Furevik
    • 4
  1. 1.Nansen-Zhu International Research Centre and Climate Change Research CenterInstitute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Atmospheric ScienceChina University of GeoscienceWuhanChina
  3. 3.Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center and Bjerknes Centre for Climate ResearchBergenNorway
  4. 4.Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Geophysical InstituteUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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