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CR 85:107-111 (2021)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01676

OPINION PIECE
Absence of an internal multidecadal oscillation in the North Atlantic has consequences for anticipating the future of marine ecosystems

G. Beaugrand1, R. Faillettaz2, R. R. Kirby3,4,*

1Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Laboratoire d’Océanologie et de Géosciences, Station marine de Wimereux, Université de Lille, 28 avenue Foch, 62930 Wimereux, France
2Ifremer, STH, Laboratoire de Technologie et de Biologie Halieutique, 8 rue François Toullec, 56100 Lorient, France
3The Secchi Disk Foundation, Kiln Cottage, Gnaton, Yealmpton, Devon PL8 2HU, UK
4Ronin Institute, Montclair, NJ 07043, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The North Atlantic marine ecosystem has been expected to adjust imminently to a negative phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Recent results suggest, however, that the AMO is not a regular internal source of variability, but has been driven by both volcanism and sulphate aerosol emissions that have influenced temperature negatively, and a period of greenhouse gas accumulation causing temperatures to be higher than normal. The demise of the AMO removes the expected and imminent cyclical change from the current warm phase to a negative cool phase in the North Atlantic. Here, we discuss the implications of this new finding for the near-future of North Atlantic marine ecosystems in a context of rapid climate warming.


KEY WORDS: Climate change · Russell Cycle · Bluefin tuna · Sea surface temperature · AMO


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Cite this article as: Beaugrand G, Faillettaz R, Kirby RR (2021) Absence of an internal multidecadal oscillation in the North Atlantic has consequences for anticipating the future of marine ecosystems. Clim Res 85:107-111. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01676

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