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An Interdecadal Change in the Relationship between Boreal Spring Arctic Oscillation and the East Asian Summer Monsoon around the Early 1970s

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  • 1 Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and School of Earth Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 2 Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 3 Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, and Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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Abstract

Previous studies suggested that the boreal spring Arctic Oscillation (AO) exerts a pronounced influence on the following East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) variability. This study reveals that the relationship of spring AO with the following EASM experienced a significant interdecadal change in the early 1970s. The influence of spring AO on the following EASM is weak during the 1950s and 1960s but strong and significant during the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s. The spring AO-related sea surface temperature (SST), atmospheric circulation, and heating anomalies are compared between 1949–71 and 1975–97. Results show that the spring AO-related cyclonic circulation anomaly over the tropical western North Pacific is weaker and located more northward in the former epoch than in the latter epoch. Correspondingly, SST, atmospheric circulation, and heating anomalies over the tropical North Pacific are located more northeastward in the former than latter epoch from spring to summer. In the following summer, the spring AO-related cyclonic circulation anomalies over the tropical North Pacific are located farther away from East Asia in the former epoch. This interdecadal change in the AO–EASM connection may be attributed to a significant change in the intensity of spring North Pacific synoptic-scale eddy activity around the early 1970s from a weak regime to a strong regime, which induces a stronger eddy feedback to the low-frequency mean flow after the early 1970s. This may explain a stronger spring AO-related cyclonic circulation over the tropical western North Pacific and thus a closer relationship between the spring AO and the following EASM in the latter than former epoch.

Corresponding author address: Wen Chen, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 6 Beiertiao, Zhongguancun, Beijing 100190, China. E-mail: cw@post.iap.ac.cn

Abstract

Previous studies suggested that the boreal spring Arctic Oscillation (AO) exerts a pronounced influence on the following East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) variability. This study reveals that the relationship of spring AO with the following EASM experienced a significant interdecadal change in the early 1970s. The influence of spring AO on the following EASM is weak during the 1950s and 1960s but strong and significant during the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s. The spring AO-related sea surface temperature (SST), atmospheric circulation, and heating anomalies are compared between 1949–71 and 1975–97. Results show that the spring AO-related cyclonic circulation anomaly over the tropical western North Pacific is weaker and located more northward in the former epoch than in the latter epoch. Correspondingly, SST, atmospheric circulation, and heating anomalies over the tropical North Pacific are located more northeastward in the former than latter epoch from spring to summer. In the following summer, the spring AO-related cyclonic circulation anomalies over the tropical North Pacific are located farther away from East Asia in the former epoch. This interdecadal change in the AO–EASM connection may be attributed to a significant change in the intensity of spring North Pacific synoptic-scale eddy activity around the early 1970s from a weak regime to a strong regime, which induces a stronger eddy feedback to the low-frequency mean flow after the early 1970s. This may explain a stronger spring AO-related cyclonic circulation over the tropical western North Pacific and thus a closer relationship between the spring AO and the following EASM in the latter than former epoch.

Corresponding author address: Wen Chen, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 6 Beiertiao, Zhongguancun, Beijing 100190, China. E-mail: cw@post.iap.ac.cn
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