THE ROLE OF THE ATLANTIC OCEAN IN DECADAL TO MULTI-CENTENNIAL CLIMATE VARIABILITY AND CHANGE
The Atlantic Ocean plays a powerful role in the global climate system. The Atlantic transports approximately 1.3 PW of heat poleward, most of which is accomplished by the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Variations in this heat transport have significant climatic impacts across the Northern Hemisphere, ranging from hurricane activity in the Atlantic to monsoonal rainfall over Africa and India to ecosystem changes. Here we review our understanding of the Atlantic and its role in the climate system, including (a) assessments of the characteristics of Atlantic Ocean variability from modern and paleoclimatic observations, (b) climate model simulations of decadal to multi-centennial variability of the Atlantic, (c) initial efforts at decadal-scale prediction for the Atlantic, and (d) the projected evolution of the Atlantic in response to future radiative forcing changes.