|Title||North Atlantic sea surface temperatures and their relation to the North Atlantic Oscillation during the last 230 years|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2011|
|Authors||Miettinen, A, Koç, N, Hall, I, Godtliebsen, F, Divine, D|
|Keywords||Earth and Environmental Science|
August Sea Surface Temperatures (aSSTs) based on fossil diatom assemblages are generated with 2 year average resolution from a 230-year-long sediment core (Rapid 21-12B), from the Reykjanes Ridge in the subpolar North Atlantic. The results indicate a warming trend of ~0.5°C of the surface waters at the Reykjanes Ridge for the last 230 years. Superimposed on this warming trend there is a multidecadal to decadal aSST variability of up to 1°C. The interval from the 1770s to the 1830s represents the coldest period, whereas ~1860–1880 represents the warmest period during the last 230 years. The last 25 years is characterized by a warming trend showing strong decadal aSST variability with several warm years, but also the coldest years since the 1820s. The time of these cold years in the mid-1970s, -1980s and -1990s correspond with the documented great salinity anomalies (GSA) in the North Atlantic suggesting increased fluxes of cold, low-salinity waters from the Arctic during the last decades. The aSST record and the August North Atlantic Oscillation (aNAO) index show similar multidecadal-scale variability indicating a close coupling between the oceanic and atmospheric patterns. The aSST record shows a negative correlation with the aNAO indicating cold aSST during the positive aNAO trend and vice versa. Results suggest that the wind driven variation in volume fluxes of the North Atlantic surface waters could be the major mechanism behind the observed relationship.