Spatiotemporal evolution of the chlorophyll a trend in the North Atlantic Ocean

Sci Total Environ. 2018 Jan 15;612:1141-1148. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.08.303. Epub 2017 Sep 8.


Analyses of the chlorophyll a concentration (chla) from satellite ocean color products have suggested the decadal-scale variability of chla linked to the climate change. The decadal-scale variability in chla is both spatially and temporally non-uniform. We need to understand the spatiotemporal evolution of chla in decadal or multi-decadal timescales to better evaluate its linkage to climate variability. Here, the spatiotemporal evolution of the chla trend in the North Atlantic Ocean for the period 1997-2016 is analyzed using the multidimensional ensemble empirical mode decomposition method. We find that this variable trend signal of chla shows a dipole pattern between the subpolar gyre and along the Gulf Stream path, and propagation along the opposite direction of the North Atlantic Current. This propagation signal has an overlapping variability of approximately twenty years. Our findings suggest that the spatiotemporal evolution of chla during the two most recent decades is part of the multidecadal variations and possibly regulated by the changes of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, whereas the mechanisms of such evolution patterns still need to be explored.

Keywords: Chlorophyll a; Dipole pattern; Multidimensional ensemble empirical mode decomposition; Propagation; Spatiotemporal evolution; The variable trend.

MeSH terms

  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Chlorophyll / analysis*
  • Chlorophyll A
  • Climate Change*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Satellite Imagery
  • Spatio-Temporal Analysis
  • Water Movements*


  • Chlorophyll
  • Chlorophyll A