Skip to content

Is The AMO Beginning To Turn Cold?

May 28, 2015

By Paul Homewood 




New study finds that the AMO may be beginning to turn cold. 


Reposted from Ron Clutz:


A new study, by scientists from the University of Southampton and National Oceanography Centre (NOC), implies that the global climate is on the verge of broad-scale change that could last for a number of decades. This new climatic phase could be half a degree cooler.

The change to the new set of climatic conditions is associated with a cooling of the Atlantic, and is likely to bring drier summers in Britain and Ireland, accelerated sea-level rise along the northeast coast of the United States, and drought in the developing countries of the Sahel region. Since this new climatic phase could be half a degree cooler, it may well offer a brief reprise from the rise of global temperatures, as well as resulting in fewer hurricanes hitting the United States.

The study, published in Nature, proves that ocean circulation is the link between weather and decadal scale climatic change. It is based on observational evidence of the link between ocean circulation and the decadal variability of sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean.

Lead author Dr Gerard McCarthy, from the NOC, said: “Sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic vary between warm and cold over time-scales of many decades. These variations have been shown to influence temperature, rainfall, drought and even the frequency of hurricanes in many regions of the world. This decadal variability, called the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO), is a notable feature of the Atlantic Ocean and the climate of the regions it influences.”



The strength of ocean currents has been measured by a network of sensors, called the RAPID array, which have been collecting data on the flow rate of the Atlantic meridonal overturning circulation (AMOC) for a decade.

Dr David Smeed, from the NOC and lead scientist of the RAPID project, adds: “The observations of AMOC from the RAPID array, over the past ten years, show that it is declining. As a result, we expect the AMO is moving to a negative phase, which will result in cooler surface waters. This is consistent with observations of temperature in the North Atlantic.”


Read the rest here.


This study reminds us that it is the oceans which dominate the Earth’s climate over decadal timescales. The AMO may well remain in its warm phase for a few more years yet, but it is the direction of travel that matters most, as I have repeatedly pointed out.

Once it starts dropping, NH temperatures will quickly follow, just as they did in the 1960’s and 70’s.




  1. outtheback permalink
    May 28, 2015 3:07 am

    All Ehrlich et al. have to do is dust off their 70’s quotes and the whole charade can continue.

    “We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
    • Kenneth Watt, ecologist

    “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
    • George Wald, Harvard Biologist

    “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”
    • Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

    “By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”
    • Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

    “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
    • Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day

    “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
    • Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

    “Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
    • Life Magazine, January 1970

    “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
    • Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

    “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.”
    • Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

    “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”
    • Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

    “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
    • Sen. Gaylord Nelson

    and this classic:

    “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
    • Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

    • May 28, 2015 3:12 pm

      Wonderful predictions, must have had some great computer models.
      If consensus worked we would be gone by now, fortunately it does not!

  2. May 28, 2015 6:39 am

    “This study reminds us that it is the oceans which dominate the Earth’s climate over decadal timescales.”


    it is the sun via the atmosphere that warms the oceans….

    currently the sun has very few spots

    lowest activity since 1928

    • saveenergy permalink
      May 28, 2015 7:11 am

      “it is the sun via the atmosphere that warms the oceans….”

      the sun warms the oceans by direct radiation; there is very little heat energy transfer from atmosphere to ocean.

      The atmosphere (& whats in it) controls the amount of radiation that reaches the surface by day & how much is re-radiated at night.

      • May 28, 2015 10:53 am

        “the sun warms the oceans by direct radiation” Exactly….

        Yes, the Ocean Has Warmed; No, It’s Not “Global Warming” by Dr. Robert E. Stevenson,

        “The atmosphere cannot warm until the underlying surface warms first. The lower atmosphere is transparent to direct solar radiation, preventing it from being significantly warmed by sunlight alone. The surface atmosphere thus gets its warmth in three ways: from direct contact with the oceans; from infrared radiation off the ocean surface; and, from the removal of latent heat from the ocean by evaporation. Consequently, the temperature of the lower atmosphere is largely determined by the temperature of the ocean.

        Warming the ocean is not a simple matter, not like heating a small glass of
        water. The first thing to remember is that the ocean is not warmed by the
        overlying air. ”

        Well worth a read of the full article.

      • May 28, 2015 3:24 pm

        Thanks Dennis for the excellent article link. The article is clear and explains why the climate models are nonsense without even having to say so!
        Unfortunately, the AGW believers will not read such subversive high quality science.

      • May 28, 2015 7:38 pm

        let’s argue on the latest thread
        not here
        the oceans warm by how much UV is allowed through the atmosphere

    • saveenergy permalink
      May 28, 2015 8:10 pm

      “the oceans warm by how much UV is allowed through the atmosphere”

      No Henry,
      that’s the wrong end of the spectrum; Infra Red is the heating bit !!!

      • AndyG55 permalink
        May 28, 2015 9:57 pm

        Which is why microwave ovens work. 😉

  3. Kartoffel permalink
    May 28, 2015 10:30 am

    Ocean – Atmosphere System deniers must urgently check on Milankovitch Cycles and Glaciation too and have in mind that science is NOT about consensus.

  4. johnmarshall permalink
    May 28, 2015 10:38 am

    The lower hurricane risk comes from the models. Reality and history shows the opposite. Colder periods bring more wild weather.

  5. Richard Mallett permalink
    May 28, 2015 10:57 am

    If you plot HadCRUT4 and AMO together, for example at you see that they rise and fall together (and, at the moment, they have slowed down together)

  6. Kartoffel permalink
    May 28, 2015 2:30 pm

    Water vapor is bad enough (95 % of greenhouse gas), it is the most powerful in the atmosphere but still less than all that energy stored in liquid H2O in the Ocean,
    my brothers and sisters you must believe me (Climat) Science is not about faith or consensus

  7. A C Osborn permalink
    May 28, 2015 2:48 pm

    Could it just be that some Climate Scientists are preparing the way for an even further roll back in the “it is only CO2″, due to the “pause” they have already conceded that perhaps they underestimated the affect of natural variability.
    Maybe they are looking for the face savers that they will need when it starts getting too cold for the Temperature Massagers to hide.

  8. avro607 permalink
    May 28, 2015 10:38 pm

    To saveenergy…do some physics please before commenting.

    • saveenergy permalink
      May 29, 2015 12:04 pm

      ???? please be specific

  9. May 29, 2015 2:19 pm

    Thanks, Paul. Yes, the AMO trend is down.

  10. May 29, 2015 4:10 pm

    “drier summers in Britain and Ireland, accelerated sea-level rise along the northeast coast of the United States”: drier summers for us, and the flooding of DC; fine by me.

  11. avro607 permalink
    June 1, 2015 9:31 pm

    Sorry saveenergy,have been off line Myimpression was that you are saying that downwelling IR heats the oceans.Do you believe that it can do this.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: