Summer High Temperature Extremes in Southeast China: Bonding with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation and East Asian Summer Monsoon Coupled System

Weiwen Wang Guy Carpenter Asia–Pacific Climate Impact Centre, School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, and State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China

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Wen Zhou Guy Carpenter Asia–Pacific Climate Impact Centre, School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

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Deliang Chen Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

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Abstract

This study investigates summer high temperature extremes (HTEs) in southeast China and their linkage with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and atmospheric circulations in the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM). An interdecadal change in HTEs associated with the abrupt shift of the ENSO–monsoon climate in the late 1980s is demonstrated. Before this interdecadal shift, the interannual variability of HTEs was linked mainly to temperature adjustments associated with the meridional displacement of the East Asian jet stream (EAJS), whereas after the shift HTEs were found to follow an ENSO cycle, which may be due to intensified and persistent ENSO activities, tropical Indian Ocean (TIO) warming, and changes in atmospheric teleconnections. Impacts of the EAJS, the South Asian high (SAH), and the western North Pacific subtropical high (WNPSH) on HTEs are further investigated based on empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis. It is found that mainly the first leading EOF mode with a homogeneous spatial pattern shows dominance before the interdecadal shift, whereas both of the first two leading EOF modes show dominance after the interdecadal shift. A possible mechanism of how HTEs in southeast China are linked to the EAJS, the SAH, and the WNPSH in the ENSO–monsoon coupled system is proposed.

Corresponding author address: W. Zhou, Guy Carpenter Asia–Pacific Climate Impact Centre, School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 00852, China. E-mail: wenzhou@cityu.edu.hk

Abstract

This study investigates summer high temperature extremes (HTEs) in southeast China and their linkage with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and atmospheric circulations in the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM). An interdecadal change in HTEs associated with the abrupt shift of the ENSO–monsoon climate in the late 1980s is demonstrated. Before this interdecadal shift, the interannual variability of HTEs was linked mainly to temperature adjustments associated with the meridional displacement of the East Asian jet stream (EAJS), whereas after the shift HTEs were found to follow an ENSO cycle, which may be due to intensified and persistent ENSO activities, tropical Indian Ocean (TIO) warming, and changes in atmospheric teleconnections. Impacts of the EAJS, the South Asian high (SAH), and the western North Pacific subtropical high (WNPSH) on HTEs are further investigated based on empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis. It is found that mainly the first leading EOF mode with a homogeneous spatial pattern shows dominance before the interdecadal shift, whereas both of the first two leading EOF modes show dominance after the interdecadal shift. A possible mechanism of how HTEs in southeast China are linked to the EAJS, the SAH, and the WNPSH in the ENSO–monsoon coupled system is proposed.

Corresponding author address: W. Zhou, Guy Carpenter Asia–Pacific Climate Impact Centre, School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 00852, China. E-mail: wenzhou@cityu.edu.hk
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