Variability in the ICES/NAFO region between 1950 and 2009: observations from the ICES Report on Ocean Climate

Type Article
Date 2012-07
Language English
Author(s) Hughes Sarah L.1, Holliday N. Penny2, Gaillard FabienneORCID3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Marine Scotland Sci, Marine Lab, Aberdeen AB10 6AT, Scotland.
2 : Natl Oceanog Ctr, Southampton SO14 3ZH, Hants, England.
3 : Inst Francais Rech Exploitat Mer ( Ifremer), Plouzane, France.
Source Ices Journal Of Marine Science (1054-3139) (Oxford Univ Press), 2012-07 , Vol. 69 , N. 5 , P. 706-719
DOI 10.1093/icesjms/fss044
WOS© Times Cited 17
Keyword(s) circulation, multidecadal variability, North Atlantic, salinity, temperature
Abstract The ICES Report on Ocean Climate presents the latest information on the status and trends of sea temperature and salinity in the North Atlantic and Nordic Seas. It is the main product of the ICES Working Group on Oceanic Hydrography, published annually. Bringing together multiple time-series from across the ICES and NAFO regions offers insight into the concurrent spatial and temporal trends in ocean temperature and salinity. This paper presents an overview of the physical variability in the North Atlantic Ocean at decadal and longer time-scales and reviews the current state of understanding of the causes and mechanisms of this variability. Between the 1960s and the 1990s, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index increased from a persistent negative phase in the 1960s to a strong positive phase during the 1980s and early 1990s. However, during the decade 2000-2009, because of shifts in atmospheric pressure patterns, the NAO was weak and the NAO index was not a good indicator of atmospheric forcing. Marked changes were also observed in oceanographic indices such as the Subpolar Gyre index during the mid1990s and, as a consequence, conditions in the decade 2000-2009 have been very different from those of the previous four decades.
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