Interdecadal Changes in the Relationship between Interannual Variations of Spring North Atlantic SST and Eurasian Surface Air Temperature

Shangfeng Chen Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

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Renguang Wu Center for Monsoon System Research, and State 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

This study investigates interdecadal changes in the relationship between interannual variations of boreal spring sea surface temperature (SST) in the North Atlantic and surface air temperature (SAT) over the mid-to-high latitudes of Eurasia during 1948–2014. Analyses show that the connection between the spring North Atlantic tripole SST anomaly pattern and the Eurasian SAT anomalies has experienced marked interdecadal shifts around the early 1970s and mid-1990s. The connection is strong during 1954–72 and 1996–2014 but weak during 1973–91. A diagnosis indicates that interdecadal changes in the connection between the North Atlantic SST and Eurasian SAT variations are associated with changes in atmospheric circulation anomalies over Eurasia induced by the North Atlantic tripole SST anomaly pattern. Further analyses suggest that changes in atmospheric circulation anomalies over Eurasia are related to changes in the position of atmospheric heating anomalies over the North Atlantic, which may be due to the change in mean SST. Marked atmospheric heating anomalies appear over the tropical western North Atlantic during 1954–72 and 1996–2014 but over the subtropical central-eastern North Atlantic during 1973–91. Barotropic model experiments confirm that different background flows may also contribute to changes in anomalous atmospheric circulation over Eurasia.

© 2017 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author e-mail: Renguang Wu, renguang@mail.iap.ac.cn

Abstract

This study investigates interdecadal changes in the relationship between interannual variations of boreal spring sea surface temperature (SST) in the North Atlantic and surface air temperature (SAT) over the mid-to-high latitudes of Eurasia during 1948–2014. Analyses show that the connection between the spring North Atlantic tripole SST anomaly pattern and the Eurasian SAT anomalies has experienced marked interdecadal shifts around the early 1970s and mid-1990s. The connection is strong during 1954–72 and 1996–2014 but weak during 1973–91. A diagnosis indicates that interdecadal changes in the connection between the North Atlantic SST and Eurasian SAT variations are associated with changes in atmospheric circulation anomalies over Eurasia induced by the North Atlantic tripole SST anomaly pattern. Further analyses suggest that changes in atmospheric circulation anomalies over Eurasia are related to changes in the position of atmospheric heating anomalies over the North Atlantic, which may be due to the change in mean SST. Marked atmospheric heating anomalies appear over the tropical western North Atlantic during 1954–72 and 1996–2014 but over the subtropical central-eastern North Atlantic during 1973–91. Barotropic model experiments confirm that different background flows may also contribute to changes in anomalous atmospheric circulation over Eurasia.

© 2017 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author e-mail: Renguang Wu, renguang@mail.iap.ac.cn
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