Physical Oceanography

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 227–236 | Cite as

Atlantic multidecadal oscillation and its manifestations in the Atlantic-European region

  • A. B. Polonskii
Experimental and Field Research

We present a brief survey of the works devoted to the investigation of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, i.e., of the quasiperiodic variations of sea-surface temperature in the North Atlantic with typical time scales of 50–100 yr. This oscillation is a manifestation of the natural variability in the ocean-atmosphere system. The characteristic scale of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation is determined by the speed of the meridional oceanic circulation in the North Atlantic. The analyzed oscillation affects various climatic characteristics: air temperature, river discharge in the European and North-American regions, the number and intensity of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean, and the parameters of mid-latitude cyclones and anticyclones in the Atlantic-European region. The main mechanism by which the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation affects the climatic characteristics of the regions neighboring with the North Atlantic is the atmospheric response to the thermal anomalies in the ocean leading to a shift of the centers of atmospheric action and to the changes in the intensity and predominant directions of propagation of atmospheric cyclones and anticyclones. By using the results of long-term instrumental observations carried out in Eastern Europe and the data array of reconstructed temperature in the Alpine region, it is shown that the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation is responsible for a significant part of low-frequency variations of temperature in Europe. This fact confirms the potential predictability of the regional atmospheric manifestations of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation on the decadal-scale.


Cyclone Tropical Cyclone Atmospheric Response Thermohaline Circulation Interdecadal Variability 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. B. Polonskii
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Hydrophysical InstituteUkrainian Academy of SciencesSevastopolUkraine

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