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Harry van Loon
Jeffery C. Rogers


We have investigated the well-known tendency for winter temperatures to be low over northern Europe when they are high over Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, and conversely. Well-defined pressure anomalies over most of the Northern Hemisphere are associated with this regional seesaw in temperature, and these pressure anomalies are so distributed that the pressure in the region of the Icelandic low is negatively correlated with the pressure over the North Pacific Ocean and over the area south of 50°N in the North Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean and Middle East, but positively correlated with the pressure over the Rocky Mountains. The composite patterns of pressure anomalies in the seesaw are almost identical to the fist eigenvector in the monthly mean pressure, but the standard deviations of pressure anomalies in seesaw mouths are as large as the standard deviations of monthly means in general. Since 1840 the seesaw, as defined by temperatures in Scandinavia and Greenland, occurred in more than 40% of the winter months and the occurrences are seemingly not randomly distributed in time as one anomaly pattern would be more frequent than the other for several decades. For this reason the circulation anomalies in the seesaw come to play an important part in deciding the level of regional mean temperatures in winter and thus in deciding the long-term temperature trends. These regional temperature trends are then closely associated with change in frequency of atmospheric circulation types, and it is therefore unlikely that the trends are caused directly by changes in insolation or in atmospheric constituents and aerosols.

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