The Annual ICES Ocean Climate Status Summary 2003/2004
In most areas of the North Atlantic during 2003, temperature and salinity in the upper layers remained higher than the long-term average, with new records set in several regions. Following the strongly negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index during the winter preceding 2001, the winter NAO index values for 2002 and 2003 were both weak. The pattern of sea level pressure anomaly for the winter of 2003 was meridional with an east-west dipole as opposed to the zonal pattern caused by the northsouth dipole of the NAO. This led to increased southerly winds over the northern North Atlantic. Figure 1 shows annual-mean normalised temperature and salinity anomalies for selected time-series in the upper layers of the ocean around the North Atlantic region. The trends in these data over the past 10 years are illustrated in Table 1. Table 2 contains additional information about each time-series included in Figure 1 and Table 1.