Climate Data

Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO)

The Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) has been identified by some as a coherent mode of natural variability occurring in the North Atlantic Ocean with an estimated period of 60-80 years. It is based upon the average anomalies of sea surface temperatures (SST) in the North Atlantic basin, typically over 0-80N. [this page under construction]

Key Strengths:

  • Is a concise way to describe SST anomalies in the North Atlantic, a key region of climate variability

Key Limitations:

  • Difficult to separate internal SST variations from forced changes
  • Relevance to ocean circulation is not agreed upon
  • Researchers have not agreed on the timescale of the AMO

Years of Record

1870/01 to 2011/12




Ocean or Land

Ocean Only

Earth system components and main variables

Data Access: Please Cite data sources, following the data providers' instructions.

Key Figures

Click the thumbnails to view larger sizes



Climate Data Guide Image Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) 1870-2011 derived from HadISST_sst . [Climate Data Guide; D. Shea]

Cite this page

National Center for Atmospheric Research Staff (Eds). Last modified 06 Sep 2013. "The Climate Data Guide: Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO)." Retrieved from

Acknowledgement of any material taken from this page is appreciated. On behalf of experts who have contributed data, advice, and/or figures, please cite their work as well.