CEES Extra seminar: Global Change, the Oceans’ Wind-Driven Circulation, and the North Atlantic Oscillation
By Michael Ghil from Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, and University of California, Los Angeles
We would like to contribute an unorthodox answer to two complementary quandaries. Both of these could be summarized by the query “Is it the tail or the dog?” In one case the “it” is the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the dog is the ocean and the tail is the atmosphere, since the mass of the latter equals 10 m of the former. In the second, the “it” is observed climate variability, the dog is natural variability and the tail is anthropogenic forcing. Hint: the author is not a climate change denier and the answer doesn’t have to be either–or, i.e. tertium datur.
Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, and University of California, Los Angeles