The influence of low-frequency variability and long-term trends in north atlantic sea surface temperature on irish waters
Husrevoglu, Y. S.
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Cannaby, H. Husrevoglu, Y. S. (2009). The influence of low-frequency variability and long-term trends in north atlantic sea surface temperature on irish waters. ICES Journal of Marine Science 66 (7), 1480-1489
Sea surface temperature (SST) time-series collected in Irish waters between 1850 and 2007 exhibit a warming trend averaging 0.3 degrees C. The strongest warming has occurred since 1994, with the warmest years in the record being 2005, 2006, and 2007. The warming trend is superimposed on significant interannual to multidecadal-scale variability, linked to basin-scale oscillations of the ocean-atmosphere system. The dominant modes of low-frequency variability in North Atlantic SST records, investigated using an empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis, correspond to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), the East Atlantic Pattern (EAP), and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index, respectively, accounting for 23, 16, and 9% of the total variance in the dataset. Interannual variability in Irish SST records is dominated by the AMO, which, currently in its warm phase, explains approximately half of the current warm anomaly in the record. The EAP and the NAO influence variability in Irish SST time-series on a smaller scale, with the EAP also contributing to the current warm anomaly. After resolving the prevalent oscillatory modes of variability in the SST record, the underlying warming trend compares well with the global greenhouse effect warming trend. The anthropogenic contribution to the current warm anomaly in Irish SSTs was estimated at 0.41 degrees C for 2006, and this is predicted to increase annually.