Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 25 items for :

  • Author or Editor: Steven B. Feldstein x
  • Journal of Climate x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Steven B. Feldstein

Abstract

This study uses National Centers for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research reanalysis data to investigate the extent to which interannual zonal index (ZI) fluctuations occur in the atmosphere and whether interannual ZI fluctuations can be accounted for by climate noise associated with the intraseasonal ZI. By using an empirical orthogonal function analysis, it is shown that the ZI is indeed a prominent form of interannual variability, because the interannual ZI corresponds to EOF1 (EOF2) for the winter (summer) seasons of both hemispheres. Also, by application of spectral, correlation, and χ 2 analyses, it is shown that interannual ZI variability can be interpreted as arising from climate noise.

Full access
Steven B. Feldstein

Abstract

This study uses NCEP–NCAR reanalysis data covering the boreal winters of 1958–97 to examine the power spectral, timescale, and climate noise properties of the dominant atmospheric teleconnection patterns. The patterns examined include the North Atlantic oscillation (NAO), the Pacific–North American (PNA), and west Pacific (WP) teleconnections, and a spatial pattern associated with ENSO. The teleconnection patterns are identified by applying a rotated principal component analysis to the daily unfiltered 300-mb geopotential height field. The NAO and PNA were found to be the two dominant patterns on all timescales.

The main finding is that the temporal evolution of the NAO, PNA, and WP teleconnections can be interpreted as being a stochastic (Markov) process with an e-folding timescale between 7.4 and 9.5 days. The time series corresponding to the ENSO spatial pattern did not match that of a Markov process, and thus a well-defined timescale could not be specified. The shortness of the above timescales indicates that the excitation of these teleconnection patterns is limited to a period of time less than a few days. These findings also suggest that in order to improve our understanding of the growth and decay mechanisms of teleconnection patterns, it is best to use daily, unfiltered data, rather than monthly or seasonally averaged data.

The signal (interannual variance due to external forcing) to noise (interannual variance from stochastic processes) ratios were also examined. For the NAO (PNA), the signal-to-noise ratio is 0.09 (1.11). This indicates that the interannual variability of the NAO (PNA) arises primarily from climate noise (both from climate noise and external forcing). An explanation for why the NAO and PNA dominate on interannual timescales is also presented.

Full access
Steven B. Feldstein

Abstract

This study examines whether both the trend and the increase in variance of the Northern Hemisphere winter annular mode during the past 30 years arise from atmospheric internal variability. To address this question, a synthetic time series is generated that has the same intraseasonal stochastic properties as the annular mode. By generating a distribution of linear trend values for the synthetic time series, and through a chi-square statistical analysis, it is shown that this trend and variance increase are well in excess of the level expected from internal variability of the atmosphere. This implies that both the trend and the variance increase of the annular mode are due either to coupling with the hydrosphere and/or cryosphere or to driving external to the climate system. This behavior contrasts that of the first 60 years of the twentieth century, for which it is shown that all of the interannual variability of the annular mode can be explained by atmospheric internal variability.

Full access
Steven B. Feldstein and Sukyoung Lee
Full access
Steven B. Feldstein and Sukyoung Lee

Abstract

This study uses cluster analysis to investigate the interdecadal poleward shift of the subtropical and eddy-driven jets and its relationship to intraseasonal teleconnections. For this purpose, self-organizing map (SOM) analysis is applied to the ECMWF Interim Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) zonal-mean zonal wind. The resulting SOM patterns have time scales of 4.8–5.7 days and undergo notable interdecadal trends in their frequency of occurrence. The sum of these trends closely resembles the observed interdecadal trend of the subtropical and eddy-driven jets, indicating that much of the interdecadal climate forcing is manifested through changes in the frequency of intraseasonal teleconnection patterns.

Two classes of jet cluster patterns are identified. The first class of SOM pattern is preceded by anomalies in convection over the warm pool followed by changes in the poleward wave activity flux. The second class of patterns is preceded by sea ice and stratospheric polar vortex anomalies; when the Arctic sea ice area is reduced, the subsequent planetary wave anomalies destructively interfere with the climatological stationary waves. This is followed by a decrease in the vertical wave activity flux and a strengthening of the stratospheric polar vortex. An increase in sea ice area leads to the opposite chain of events. Analysis suggests that the positive trend in the Arctic Oscillation (AO) up until the early 1990s might be attributed to increased warm pool tropical convection, while the subsequent reversal in its trend may be due to the influence of tropical convection being overshadowed by the accelerated loss of Arctic sea ice.

Full access
Changhyun Yoo, Sukyoung Lee, and Steven B. Feldstein

Abstract

Using lagged composites and projections with the thermodynamic energy equation, in this study the mechanisms that drive the boreal winter Arctic surface air temperature (SAT) change associated with the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) are investigated. The Wheeler and Hendon MJO index, which divides the MJO into 8 phases, where phase 1 (phase 5) corresponds to reduced (enhanced) convection over the Maritime Continent and western Pacific Ocean, is used. It is shown that the more zonally localized (uniform) tropical convective heating associated with MJO phase 5 (phase 1) leads to enhanced (reduced) excitation of poleward-propagating Rossby waves, which contribute to Arctic warming (cooling). Adiabatic warming/cooling, eddy heat flux, and the subsequent change in downward infrared radiation (IR) flux are found to be important for the Arctic SAT change. The adiabatic warming/cooling initiates the Arctic SAT change, however, subsequent eddy heat flux makes a greater contribution. The resulting SAT change is further amplified by alteration in downward IR. It is shown that changes in surface sensible and latent heat fluxes oppose the contribution by the above processes.

Full access
Tingting Gong, Steven B. Feldstein, and Sukyoung Lee

Abstract

The relationship between latent heating over the Greenland, Barents, and Kara Seas (GBKS hereafter) and Rossby wave propagation between the Arctic and midlatitudes is investigated using global reanalysis data. Latent heating is the focus because it is the most likely source of Rossby wave activity over the Arctic Ocean. Given that the Rossby wave time scale is on the order of several days, the analysis is carried out using a daily latent heating index that resembles the interdecadal latent heating trend during the winter season. The results from regression calculations find a trans-Arctic Rossby wave train that propagates from the subtropics, through the midlatitudes, into the Arctic, and then back into midlatitudes over a period of about 10 days. Upon entering the GBKS, this wave train transports moisture into the region, resulting in anomalous latent heat release. At high latitudes, the overlapping of a negative latent heating anomaly with an anomalous high is consistent with anomalous latent heat release fueling the Rossby wave train before it propagates back into the midlatitudes. This implies that the Rossby wave propagation from the Arctic into the midlatitudes arises from trans-Arctic wave propagation rather than from in situ generation. The method used indicates the variance of the trans-Arctic wave train, but not in situ generation, and implies that the variance of the former is greater than that of latter. Furthermore, GBKS sea ice concentration regression against the latent heating index shows the largest negative value six days afterward, indicating that sea ice loss contributes little to the latent heating.

Open access
Nathaniel C. Johnson and Steven B. Feldstein

Abstract

This study combines k-means cluster analysis with linear unidimensional scaling to illustrate the spatial and temporal variability of the wintertime North Pacific sea level pressure (SLP) field. Daily wintertime SLP data derived from the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis are used to produce 16 SLP anomaly patterns that represent a discretized approximation of the continuum of North Pacific SLP patterns. This study adopts the continuum perspective for teleconnection patterns, which provides a much simpler framework for understanding North Pacific variability than the more commonly used discrete modal approach.

The primary focus of this research is to show that variability in the North Pacific—on intraseasonal, interannual, and interdecadal time scales—can be understood in terms of changes in the frequency distribution of the cluster patterns that compose the continuum, each of which has a time scale of about 10 days. This analysis reveals 5–6 Pacific–North American–like (PNA-like) patterns for each phase, as well as dipoles and wave trains. A self-organizing map (SOM) analysis of coupled SLP and outgoing longwave radiation data shows that many of these patterns are associated with convection in the tropical Indo-Pacific region. On intraseasonal time scales, the frequency distribution of these patterns, in particular the PNA-like patterns, is strongly influenced by the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO). On interannual time scales, the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) impacts the North Pacific continuum, with warm ENSO episodes resulting in the increased frequency of easterly displaced Aleutian low pressure anomaly patterns and cold ENSO episodes resulting in the increased frequency of southerly displaced Aleutian high pressure anomaly patterns. In addition, the results of this analysis suggest that the interdecadal variability of the North Pacific SLP field, including the well-known “regime shift” of 1976/77, also results from changes in the frequency distribution within the continuum of SLP patterns.

Full access
Michael Goss, Steven B. Feldstein, and Sukyoung Lee

Abstract

The interference between transient eddies and climatological stationary eddies in the Northern Hemisphere is investigated. The amplitude and sign of the interference is represented by the stationary wave index (SWI), which is calculated by projecting the daily 300-hPa streamfunction anomaly field onto the 300-hPa climatological stationary wave. ERA-Interim data for the years 1979 to 2013 are used. The amplitude of the interference peaks during boreal winter. The evolution of outgoing longwave radiation, Arctic temperature, 300-hPa streamfunction, 10-hPa zonal wind, Arctic sea ice concentration, and the Arctic Oscillation (AO) index are examined for days of large SWI values during the winter.

Constructive interference during winter tends to occur about one week after enhanced warm pool convection and is followed by an increase in Arctic surface air temperature along with a reduction of sea ice in the Barents and Kara Seas. The warming of the Arctic does occur without prior warm pool convection, but it is enhanced and prolonged when constructive interference occurs in concert with enhanced warm pool convection. This is followed two weeks later by a weakening of the stratospheric polar vortex and a decline of the AO. All of these associations are reversed in the case of destructive interference. Potential climate change implications are briefly discussed.

Full access
Yao Yao, Dehai Luo, Aiguo Dai, and Steven B. Feldstein

Abstract

A recent study revealed that cold winter outbreaks over the Middle East and southeastern Europe are caused mainly by the northeast–southwest (NE–SW) tilting of European blocking (EB) associated with the positive-phase North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO+). Here, the North Atlantic conditions are examined that determine the EB tilting direction, defined as being perpendicular to the dipole anomaly orientation. Using daily reanalysis data, the NAO+ events are classified into strong (SJN) and weak (WJN) North Atlantic jet types. A composite analysis shows that the EB is generally stronger and located more westward and southward during SJN events than during WJN events. During SJN events, the NAO+ and EB dipoles exhibit NE–SW tilting, which leads to strong cold advection and large negative temperature anomalies over the Middle East and southeastern Europe. In contrast, northwest–southeast (NW–SE) tilting without strong negative temperature anomalies over the Middle East is seen during WJN events.

A nonlinear multiscale interaction model is modified to investigate the physical mechanism through which the North Atlantic jet (NAJ) affects EB with the NAO+ event. It is shown that, when the NAJ is stronger, an amplified EB event forms because of enhanced NAO+ energy dispersion. For a strong (weak) NAJ, the EB tends to occur in a relatively low-latitude (high latitude) region because of the suppressive (favorable) role of intensified (reduced) zonal wind in high latitudes. It exhibits NE–SW (NW–SE) tilting because the blocking region corresponds to negative-over-positive (opposite) zonal wind anomalies. The results suggest that the NAJ can modulate the tilting direction of EB, leading to different effects over the Middle East.

Full access