Atlantic and Pacific multidecadal oscillations and Northern Hemisphere temperatures

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Abstract

The recent slowdown in global warming has brought into question the reliability of climate model projections of future temperature change and has led to a vigorous debate over whether this slowdown is the result of naturally occurring, internal variability or forcing external to Earth's climate system. To address these issues, we applied a semi-empirical approach that combines climate observations and model simulations to estimate Atlantic- and Pacific-based internal multidecadal variability (termed "AMO" and "PMO," respectively). Using this method, the AMO and PMO are found to explain a large proportion of internal variability in Northern Hemisphere mean temperatures. Competition between a modest positive peak in the AMO and a substantially negative-trending PMO are seen to produce a slowdown or "false pause" in warming of the past decade.

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Steinman, B. A., Mann, M. E., & Miller, S. K. (2015). Atlantic and Pacific multidecadal oscillations and Northern Hemisphere temperatures. Science, 347(6225), 988–991. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1257856

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