Variability of global mean annual temperature is significantly influenced by the rhythm of ocean-atmosphere oscillations

Sci Total Environ. 2020 Dec 10;747:141256. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141256. Epub 2020 Jul 25.


While global warming has been evolving over several decades, in particular years there have been considerable deviations of global temperature from the underlying trend. These could be explained by climate variability patterns and, in particular, by the major interplays of atmospheric and oceanic processes that generate variations in the global climatic system. Here we show, in a simple and straightforward way, that a rhythm of the major ocean-atmosphere oscillations, such as the ENSO and IPO in the Pacific as well as the AMO in the Atlantic, is indeed meaningfully influencing the global mean annual temperature. We construct time series of residuals of the global temperature from the medium-term (5-year) running averages and show that these largely follow the rhythm of residuals of three basic ocean-atmosphere oscillation modes (ENSO, IPO and AMO) from the 5-year running averages. We find meaningful correlations between analyzed climate variability and deviations of global mean annual temperature residuals that are robust across various datasets and assumptions and explain over 70% of the annual temperature variability in terms of residuals from medium-term averages.

Keywords: AMO; Climate variability; ENSO; Global temperature; IPO; SSN; VEI.