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Yuta Ando
Masayo Ogi
, and
Yoshihiro Tachibana


Negative Arctic Oscillation (AO) and western Pacific (WP) indices persisted from October to December 2012 in the Northern Hemisphere. For the first time, the monthly AO and WP were both negative for three consecutive months since records have been kept. Although in general negative AO and WP phases cause Siberia, East Asia, and Japan to be abnormally cold, Japan was relatively warm in October 2012 even though both the AO and WP were strongly negative. The temperature of the Sea of Japan reached a record-breaking high in October 2012, and it was found that heating by these very warm waters, despite the small size of the Sea of Japan, overwhelmed the cooling effect of the strongly negative AO and WP in October. Linear regression analyses showed that Japan tends to be warm in years when the Sea of Japan is warm. Consequently, the temperature over Japan is controlled by interannual variations of small-scale oceanic phenomena as well as by large-scale atmospheric patterns. Previous studies have ignored such small-scale oceanic influences on island temperatures.

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