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Winter-to-Winter Recurrence of Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in the Northern Hemisphere

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  • 1 National Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, and Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, and College of Atmospheric Science, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China
  • | 2 National Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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Abstract

The spatiotemporal characteristics of the winter-to-winter recurrence (WWR) of sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) are comprehensively studied through lag correlation analysis. On this basis the relationships between the SSTA WWR and the WWR of the atmospheric circulation anomalies, El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and SSTA interdecadal variability are also investigated.

Results show that the SSTA WWR occurs over most parts of the North Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, but the spatiotemporal distributions of the SSTA WWR are distinctly different in these two oceans. Analyses indicate that the spatiotemporal distribution of the SSTA WWR in the North Atlantic Ocean is consistent with the spatial distribution of the seasonal cycle of its mixed layer depth (MLD), whereas that in the North Pacific Ocean, particularly the recurrence timing, cannot be fully explained by the change in the MLD between winter and summer in some regions. In addition, the atmospheric circulation anomalies also exhibit the WWR at the mid–high latitude of the NH, which is mainly located in eastern Asia, the central North Pacific, and the North Atlantic. The sea level pressure anomalies (SLPA) in the central North Pacific are essential for the occurrence of the SSTA WWR in this region. Moreover, the strongest positive correlation occurs when the SLPA lead SSTA in the central North Pacific by 1 month, which suggests that the atmospheric forcing on the ocean may play a dominant role in this region. Therefore, the “reemergence mechanism” is not the only process influencing the SSTA WWR, and the WWR of the atmospheric circulation anomalies may be one of the causes of the SSTA WWR in the central North Pacific. Finally, the occurrence of the SSTA WWR in the NH is closely related to SSTA interdecadal variability in the NH, but it is linearly independent of ENSO.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Jianping Li, National Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 9804, Beijing 100029, China. Email: ljp@lasg.iap.ac.cn

Abstract

The spatiotemporal characteristics of the winter-to-winter recurrence (WWR) of sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) are comprehensively studied through lag correlation analysis. On this basis the relationships between the SSTA WWR and the WWR of the atmospheric circulation anomalies, El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and SSTA interdecadal variability are also investigated.

Results show that the SSTA WWR occurs over most parts of the North Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, but the spatiotemporal distributions of the SSTA WWR are distinctly different in these two oceans. Analyses indicate that the spatiotemporal distribution of the SSTA WWR in the North Atlantic Ocean is consistent with the spatial distribution of the seasonal cycle of its mixed layer depth (MLD), whereas that in the North Pacific Ocean, particularly the recurrence timing, cannot be fully explained by the change in the MLD between winter and summer in some regions. In addition, the atmospheric circulation anomalies also exhibit the WWR at the mid–high latitude of the NH, which is mainly located in eastern Asia, the central North Pacific, and the North Atlantic. The sea level pressure anomalies (SLPA) in the central North Pacific are essential for the occurrence of the SSTA WWR in this region. Moreover, the strongest positive correlation occurs when the SLPA lead SSTA in the central North Pacific by 1 month, which suggests that the atmospheric forcing on the ocean may play a dominant role in this region. Therefore, the “reemergence mechanism” is not the only process influencing the SSTA WWR, and the WWR of the atmospheric circulation anomalies may be one of the causes of the SSTA WWR in the central North Pacific. Finally, the occurrence of the SSTA WWR in the NH is closely related to SSTA interdecadal variability in the NH, but it is linearly independent of ENSO.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Jianping Li, National Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 9804, Beijing 100029, China. Email: ljp@lasg.iap.ac.cn

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