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Science. 2001 Apr 6;292(5514):90-2.

Tropical origins for recent North Atlantic climate change.

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  • 1Climate Diagnostics Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-Environmental Research Laboratories, Boulder, CO 80303, USA.


Evidence is presented that North Atlantic climate change since 1950 is linked to a progressive warming of tropical sea surface temperatures, especially over the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The ocean changes alter the pattern and magnitude of tropical rainfall and atmospheric heating, the atmospheric response to which includes the spatial structure of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The slow, tropical ocean warming has thus forced a commensurate trend toward one extreme phase of the NAO during the past half-century.

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