Oscillatory Climate Modes in the Eastern Mediterranean and Their Synchronization with the North Atlantic Oscillation

Yizhak Feliks Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, and Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

Search for other papers by Yizhak Feliks in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Michael Ghil Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, and Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

Search for other papers by Michael Ghil in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Andrew W. Robertson International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Columbia University, Palisades, New York

Search for other papers by Andrew W. Robertson in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

Oscillatory climatic modes over the North Atlantic, Ethiopian Plateau, and eastern Mediterranean were examined in instrumental and proxy records from these regions. Aside from the well-known North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index and the Nile River water-level records, the authors study for the first time an instrumental rainfall record from Jerusalem and a tree-ring record from the Golan Heights.

The teleconnections between the regions were studied in terms of synchronization of chaotic oscillators. Standard methods for studying synchronization among such oscillators are modified by combining them with advanced spectral methods, including singular spectrum analysis. The resulting cross-spectral analysis quantifies the strength of the coupling together with the degree of synchronization.

A prominent oscillatory mode with a 7–8-yr period is present in all the climatic indices studied here and is completely synchronized with the North Atlantic Oscillation. An energy analysis of the synchronization raises the possibility that this mode originates in the North Atlantic. Evidence is discussed for this mode being induced by the 7–8-yr oscillation in the position of the Gulf Stream front. A mechanism for the teleconnections between the North Atlantic, Ethiopian Plateau, and eastern Mediterranean is proposed, and implications for interannual-to-decadal climate prediction are discussed.

* Additional affiliation: Department of Mathematics, Israel Institute for Biological Research, Ness Ziona, Israel

+ Additional affiliation: Geosciences Department and Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, CNRS, IPSL, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France

Corresponding author address: Michael Ghil, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 24 rue Lhomond, Paris, 75005 France. Email: ghil@atmos.ucla.edu

Abstract

Oscillatory climatic modes over the North Atlantic, Ethiopian Plateau, and eastern Mediterranean were examined in instrumental and proxy records from these regions. Aside from the well-known North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index and the Nile River water-level records, the authors study for the first time an instrumental rainfall record from Jerusalem and a tree-ring record from the Golan Heights.

The teleconnections between the regions were studied in terms of synchronization of chaotic oscillators. Standard methods for studying synchronization among such oscillators are modified by combining them with advanced spectral methods, including singular spectrum analysis. The resulting cross-spectral analysis quantifies the strength of the coupling together with the degree of synchronization.

A prominent oscillatory mode with a 7–8-yr period is present in all the climatic indices studied here and is completely synchronized with the North Atlantic Oscillation. An energy analysis of the synchronization raises the possibility that this mode originates in the North Atlantic. Evidence is discussed for this mode being induced by the 7–8-yr oscillation in the position of the Gulf Stream front. A mechanism for the teleconnections between the North Atlantic, Ethiopian Plateau, and eastern Mediterranean is proposed, and implications for interannual-to-decadal climate prediction are discussed.

* Additional affiliation: Department of Mathematics, Israel Institute for Biological Research, Ness Ziona, Israel

+ Additional affiliation: Geosciences Department and Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, CNRS, IPSL, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France

Corresponding author address: Michael Ghil, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 24 rue Lhomond, Paris, 75005 France. Email: ghil@atmos.ucla.edu

Save
  • Allen, M. R., and A. W. Robertson, 1996: Distinguishing modulated oscillations from colored noise in multivariate datasets. Climate Dyn., 12 , 775784.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Allen, M. R., and L. A. Smith, 1996: Monte Carlo SSA: Detecting irregular oscillations in the presence of colored noise. J. Climate, 9 , 33733404.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barnston, A. G., and R. E. Livezey, 1987: Classification, seasonality and persistence of low-frequency atmospheric circulation patterns. Mon. Wea. Rev., 115 , 10831126.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bedrosian, E., 1963: A product theorem for Hilbert transforms. Proc. IEEE, 51 , 868869.

  • Block, P., and B. Rajagopalan, 2007: Interannual variability and ensemble forecast of upper Blue Nile basin seasonal precipitation. J. Hydrometeor., 8 , 327343.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boccaletti, S., J. Kurths, G. Osipov, D. L. Valladares, and C-S. Zhou, 2002: The synchronization of chaotic systems. Phys. Rep., 366 , 1101.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Broomhead, D. S., and G. P. King, 1986: On the qualitative analysis of experimental dynamical systems. Nonlinear Phenomena and Chaos, S. Sarkar, Ed., Adam Hilger, 113–144.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brunnet, L., H. Chaté, and P. Manneville, 1994: Long-range order with local chaos in lattices of diffusively coupled ODEs. Physica D, 78 , (3-4). 141154.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Camberlin, P., 1995: June–September rainfall in north-eastern Africa and atmospheric signals over the tropics: A zonal perspective. Int. J. Climatol., 15 , 773783.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chao, Y., M. Ghil, and J. C. McWilliams, 2000: Pacific interdecadal variability in this century’s sea surface temperatures. Geophys. Res. Lett., 27 , 22612264.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chiang, J. C. H., and A. H. Sobel, 2002: Tropical tropospheric temperature variations caused by ENSO and their influence on the remote tropical climate. J. Climate, 15 , 26162631.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cook, E. R., B. M. Buckley, and R. D. D’Arrigo, 1995: Interdecadal temperature oscillations in the Southern Hemisphere: Evidence from Tasmanian tree rings since 300 B.C. Natural Climate Variability on Decade-to-Century Time-Scales, D. G. Martinson et al., Eds., National Academies Press, 523–532.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Da Costa, E. D., and A. Colin de Verdière, 2002: The 7.7-year North Atlantic oscillation. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 128 , 797817.

  • Deser, C., and M. L. Blackman, 1993: Surface climate variation over the North Atlantic Ocean during winter: 1900–1999. J. Climate, 6 , 17431753.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dettinger, M. D., M. Ghil, and C. L. Keppenne, 1995: Interannual and interdecadal variability in United States surface-air temperatures, 1910–87. Climatic Change, 31 , 3566.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dijkstra, H. A., and M. Ghil, 2005: Low-frequency variability of the large-scale ocean circulation: A dynamical systems approach. Rev. Geophys., 43 , RG3002. doi:10.1029/2002RG000122.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Duane, G. S., 1997: Synchronized chaos in extended systems and meteorological teleconnections. Phys. Rev., 56 , 64756493.

  • Duane, G. S., and J. J. Tribbia, 2004: Weak Atlantic–Pacific teleconnections as synchronized chaos. J. Atmos. Sci., 61 , 21492168.

  • Dünkeloh, A., and J. Jacobeit, 2003: Circulation dynamics of Mediterranean precipitation variability 1948–98. Int. J. Climatol., 23 , 18431866.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Eshel, G., and B. F. Farrell, 2000: Mechanisms of eastern Mediterranean rainfall variability. J. Atmos. Sci., 57 , 32193232.

  • Feliks, Y., 1968: Tree and forest in the Golan Heights (in Hebrew). Teva Vaeretz, 3 , 316.

  • Feliks, Y., M. Ghil, and E. Simonnet, 2004: Low-frequency variability in the midlatitude atmosphere induced by an oceanic thermal front. J. Atmos. Sci., 61 , 961981.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Feliks, Y., M. Ghil, and E. Simonnet, 2007: Low-frequency variability in the midlatitude baroclinic atmosphere induced by an oceanic thermal front. J. Atmos. Sci., 64 , 97116.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Folland, C. K., J. Knight, H. W. Linderholm, D. Fereday, S. Ineson, and J. W. Hurrell, 2009: The summer North Atlantic Oscillation: Past, present, and future. J. Climate, 22 , 10821103.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gabor, D., 1946: Theory of communication. J. Inst. Electr. Eng., 93 , 429457.

  • Gámiz-Fortis, S. R., D. Pozo-Vázques, M. J. Esteban-Parra, and Y. Castro-Díez, 2002: Spectral characteristics and predictability of the NAO assessed through singular spectral analysis. J. Geophys. Res., 107 , 4685. doi:10.1029/2001JD001436.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ghil, M., and S. Childress, 1987: Topics in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Atmospheric Dynamics, Dynamo Theory and Climate Dynamics. Springer-Verlag, 485 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ghil, M., and R. Vautard, 1991: Interdecadal oscillations and the warming trend in global temperature time series. Nature, 350 , 324327.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ghil, M., and Coauthors, 2002a: Advanced spectral methods for climatic time series. Rev. Geophys., 40 , 1003. doi:10.1029/2000RG000092.

  • Ghil, M., Y. Feliks, and L. Sushama, 2002b: Baroclinic and barotropic aspects of the wind-driven ocean circulation. Physica D, 167 , 135.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Giannini, A., R. Saravanan, and P. Chang, 2005: Dynamics of the boreal summer African monsoon in the NSIPP1 atmospheric model. Climate Dyn., 25 , 517535.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Henrici, P., 1963: Error Propagation for Difference Methods. J. Wiley, 73 pp.

  • Hoskins, B. J., and D. J. Karoly, 1981: The steady linear response of a spherical atmosphere to thermal and orographic forcing. J. Atmos. Sci., 38 , 11791196.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hurrell, J. W., 1995: Decadal trends in the North Atlantic Oscillation: Regional temperatures and precipitation. Science, 269 , 676679.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hurrell, J. W., and C. K. Folland, 2002: A change in the summer atmospheric circulation over the North Atlantic. CLIVAR Exchanges, No. 25, International CLIVAR Project Office, Southampton, United Kingdom 52–54.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hurrell, J. W., Y. Kushnir, G. Ottersen, and M. Visbeck, 2003: An overview of the North Atlantic Oscillation. The North Atlantic Oscillation: Climatic Significance and Environmental Impact, Geophys. Monogr., Vol. 134, Amer. Geophys. Union, 1–35.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Isaacson, E., and H. B. Keller, 1966: Analysis of Numerical Methods. J. Wiley, 541 pp.

  • James, I. N., 1995: Introduction to Circulating Atmospheres. Cambridge University Press, 422 pp.

  • Janjarasjitt, S., and K. A. Loparo, 2008: An approach for characterizing coupling in dynamical systems. Physica D, 237 , 24822486. doi:10.1016/j.physd.2008.03.003.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jiang, N., J. D. Neelin, and M. Ghil, 1995a: Quasi-quadrennial and quasi-biennial variability in the equatorial Pacific. Climate Dyn., 12 , 101112.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jiang, S., F-F. Jin, and M. Ghil, 1995b: Multiple equilibria, periodic, and aperiodic solutions in a wind-driven, double-gyre, shallow-water model. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 25 , 764786.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jones, P. D., T. Jonsson, and D. Wheeler, 1997: Extension to the North Atlantic Oscillation using early instrumental pressure observations from Gibraltar and south-west Iceland. Int. J. Climatol., 17 , 14331450.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Joyce, M. T., C. Deser, and M. A. Spall, 2000: The relation between decadal variability of subtropical mode water and the North Atlantic Oscillation. J. Climate, 13 , 25502569.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kalnay, E., and Coauthors, 1996: The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77 , 437471.

  • Keppenne, C. L., and M. Ghil, 1993: Adaptive filtering and prediction of noisy multivariate signals: An application to subannual variability in atmospheric angular momentum. Int. J. Bifurcation Chaos, 3 , 625634.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kondrashov, D., Y. Feliks, and M. Ghil, 2005: Oscillatory modes of extended Nile River records (A.D. 622–1922). Geophys. Res. Lett., 32 , L10702. doi:10.1029/2004GL022156.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lintner, B. R., and J. C. H. Chiang, 2007: Adjustment of the remote tropical climate to El Niño conditions. J. Climate, 20 , 25442557.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lorenz, E. N., 1963: Deterministic nonperiodic flow. J. Atmos. Sci., 20 , 130141.

  • Lorenz, E. N., 1991: Dimension of weather and climate attractors. Nature, 353 , 241244.

  • Lorenz, E. N., 1996: Predictability: A problem partly solved. Proc. Seminar on Predictability, Reading, United Kingdom, ECMWF, 1–18.

  • Mann, M. E., and J. M. Lees, 1996: Robust estimation of background noise and signal detection in climatic time series. Climatic Change, 33 , 409445.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mantua, N. J., S. R. Hare, Y. Zhang, J. M. Wallace, and R. C. Francis, 1997: A Pacific interdecadal climate oscillation with impacts on salmon production. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 78 , 10691079.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maraun, D., and J. Kurths, 2004: Cross wavelet analysis: Significance testing and pitfalls. Nonlinear Processes Geophys., 11 , 505514.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mariotti, A., M. V. Struglia, N. Zeng, and K-M. Lau, 2002: The hydrological cycle in the Mediterranean region and implications for water budget on the Mediterranean Sea. J. Climate, 15 , 16741690.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marple Jr., L., 1999: Computing the discrete-time analytic signal via FFT. IEEE Trans. Signal Process., 47 , 26002603.

  • Minobe, S., A. Kuwano-Yoshida, N. Komori, S-P. Xie, and R. J. Small, 2008: Influence of the Gulf Stream on the troposphere. Nature, 452 , 206209. doi:10.1038/nature06690.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mohamed, Y. A., B. J. J. van den Hurk, H. H. G. Savenije, and W. G. M. Bastiaanssen, 2005: Hydroclimatology of the Nile: Results from a regional climate model. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 9 , 263278.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moron, V., R. Vautard, and M. Ghil, 1998: Trends, interdecadal and interannual oscillations in global sea-surface temperatures. Climate Dyn., 14 , 545569.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nicholson, S. E., and J. P. Grist, 2003: The seasonal evolution of the atmospheric circulation over West Africa and equatorial Africa. J. Climate, 16 , 10131030.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Osipov, G. V., B. Hu, C. Zhou, M. V. Ivanchenko, and J. Kurths, 2003: Three types of transitions to phase synchronization in coupled chaotic oscillators. Phys. Rev. Lett., 91 , 024101. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.91.024101.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Paluš, M., and D. Novotná, 2004: Enhanced Monte Carlo Singular System Analysis and detection of period 7.8 years oscillatory modes in the monthly NAO index and temperature records. Nonlinear Processes Geophys., 11 , 721729.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Panter, P., 1965: Modulation, Noise, and Spectral Analysis. McGraw-Hill, 759 pp.

  • Philander, S. G. H., 1990: El Niño, La Niña, and the Southern Oscillation. Academic Press, 293 pp.

  • Pikovsky, A., M. Rosenblum, and J. Kurths, 2003: Synchronization: A Universal Concept in Nonlinear Sciences. Cambridge University Press, 432 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Plaut, G., and R. Vautard, 1994: Spells of low-frequency oscillations and weather regimes in the Northern Hemisphere. J. Atmos. Sci., 51 , 210236.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Quinn, W. H., 1992: A study of Southern Oscillation-related climatic activity for A.D. 622–1900 incorporating Nile River flood data. El Nino Historical and Paleoclimatic Aspects of the Southern Oscillation, H. F. Diaz and V. Markgraf, Ed., Cambridge University Press, 119–149.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Raicich, F., N. Pinardi, and A. Navarra, 2003: Teleconnections between Indian monsoon and Sahel rainfall and the Mediterranean. Int. J. Climatol., 23 , 173186.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rasmusson, E. M., and T. H. Carpenter, 1982: Variations in tropical sea surface temperature and surface wind fields associated with the Southern Oscillation/El Niño. Mon. Wea. Rev., 110 , 354384.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rasmusson, E. M., X. Wang, and C. F. Ropelewski, 1990: The biennial component of ENSO variability. J. Mar. Syst., 1 , 7196.

  • Robertson, A. W., 2001: On the influence of ocean–atmosphere interaction on the Arctic Oscillation in two general circulation models. J. Climate, 14 , 32403254.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Robertson, A. W., and C. R. Mechoso, 1998: Interannual and decadal cycles in river flows of southeastern South America. J. Climate, 11 , 25702581.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Robertson, A. W., C. R. Mechoso, and N. O. Garcia, 2001: Interannual prediction of the Parana River. Geophys. Res. Lett., 28 , 42354238.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rodwell, M. J., and B. J. Hoskins, 1996: Monsoons and the dynamics of deserts. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 122 , 13851404.

  • Rogers, J. C., 1984: The association between the North Atlantic oscillation and the Southern Oscillation in the Northern Hemisphere. Mon. Wea. Rev., 112 , 19992015.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rogers, J. C., 1990: Patterns of low-frequency monthly sea-level pressure variability (1899–1986) and associated wave cyclone frequencies. J. Climate, 3 , 13641379.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ropelewski, C. F., and M. S. Halpert, 1987: Global and regional scale precipitation patterns associated with the El Niño/Southern Oscillation. Mon. Wea. Rev., 115 , 16061626.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ropelewski, C. F., and M. S. Halpert, 1989: Precipitation patterns associated with the high-index phase of the Southern Oscillation. J. Climate, 2 , 268284.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rosenblum, M. G., A. S. Pikovsky, and J. Kurths, 1996: Phase synchronization of chaotic oscillators. Phys. Rev. Lett., 76 , 18041807.

  • Rössler, O. E., 1976: An equation for continuous chaos. Phys. Lett., 57A , 397398.

  • Simonnet, E., M. Ghil, and H. A. Dijkstra, 2005: Homoclinic bifurcations in the quasi-geostrophic double-gyre circulation. J. Mar. Res., 63 , 931956.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sushama, L., M. Ghil, and K. Ide, 2007: Spatio-temporal variability in a mid-latitude ocean basin subject to periodic wind forcing. Atmos.–Ocean, 45 , 227250. doi:10.3137/ao.450404.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thomson, D. J., 1982: Spectrum estimation and harmonic analysis. Proc. IEEE, 70 , 10551096.

  • Trenberth, K. E., and D. A. Paolino Jr., 1981: Characteristic patterns of variability of sea level pressure in the Northern Hemisphere. Mon. Wea. Rev., 109 , 11691189.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Unal, Y. S., and M. Ghil, 1995: Interannual and interdecadal oscillation patterns in sea level. Climate Dyn., 11 , 255278.

  • Walker, G. T., 1931: On periodicity in series of related terms. Proc. Roy. Soc. London, 131 , 518532.

  • Walker, G. T., and E. W. Bliss, 1932: World Weather V. Mem. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 4 , 5384.

  • Walker, G. T., and E. W. Bliss, 1937: World Weather VI. Mem. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 4 , 119139.

  • Wallace, J. M., and D. S. Gutzler, 1981: Teleconnections in the geopotential height field during the Northern Hemisphere winter. Mon. Wea. Rev., 109 , 784812.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wang, G., and E. A. B. Eltahir, 1999: Use of ENSO information for medium- and long-range forecasting of the Nile floods. J. Climate, 12 , 17261737.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wang, W., B. T. Anderson, R. K. Kaufmann, and R. B. Myneni, 2004: The relation between the North Atlantic Oscillation and SSTs in the North Atlantic basin. J. Climate, 17 , 47524759.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wunsch, C., 1999: The interpretation of short climate records, with comments on the North Atlantic and Southern Oscillations. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 80 , 245255.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 534 245 13
PDF Downloads 287 57 8