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Authors: Bellucci, A.* 
Gualdi, S.* 
Scoccimarro, E.* 
Navarra, A.* 
Title: NAO–ocean circulation interactions in a coupled general circulation model
Issue Date: Dec-2008
Series/Report no.: 7-8/31(2008)
DOI: 10.1007/s00382-008-0408-4
Keywords: NAO
Ocean Dynamics
Subject Classification01. Atmosphere::01.01. Atmosphere::01.01.02. Climate 
Abstract: The interplay between the North Atlantic Oscillation and the large scale ocean circulation is inspected in a 20th century simulation conducted with a state-of-the-art coupled general circulation model. Significant lead-lag covariance between oceanic and tropospheric variables suggests that the system supports a damped oscillatory mode involving an active ocean-atmosphere coupling, with a typical NAO-like space structure and a 5 years timescale, qualitatively consistent with a mid-latitude delayed oscillator paradigm. The two essential processes governing the oscillation are 1) a negative feedback between ocean gyre circulation and the high latitude SST meridional gradient and 2) a positive feedback between SST and the NAO. The atmospheric NAO pattern appears to have a weaker projection on the ocean meridional overturning, compared to the gyre circulation, which leads to a secondary role for the thermohaline circulation in driving the meridional heat transport, and thus the oscillatory mode.
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