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Bingyi Wu, Renhe Zhang, and Rosanne D’Arrigo

Abstract

Two distinct modes of the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) have been identified, and they correspond to real and imaginary parts of the leading mode of the EAWM, respectively. Analyses of these modes used the National Centers for Environment Prediction (NCEP) and National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) monthly mean reanalysis datasets for the period 1968–2003, as well as the Southern Oscillation index (SOI), North Atlantic Oscillation index, and eastern equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) data. Results were obtained by resolving a complex Hermite matrix derived from 850-hPa anomalous wind fields, and determining the resulting modes’ associations with several climate variables. The first distinct mode (M1) is characterized by an anomalous meridional wind pattern over East Asia and the western North Pacific. Mode M1 is closely related to several features of the atmospheric circulation, including the Siberian high, East Asian trough, East Asian upper-tropospheric jet, and local Hadley circulation over East Asia. Thus, M1 reflects the traditional EAWM pattern revealed in previous studies. The second distinct EAWM mode (M2), which was not identified previously, displays dominant zonal wind anomalies over the same area. Mode M2 exhibits a closer relation than M1 to sea level pressure anomalies over the northwestern Pacific southeast of Japan and with the SOI and equatorial eastern Pacific SST. Unlike M1, M2 does not show coherent relationships with the Siberian high, East Asian trough, and East Asian upper-tropospheric jet. Since atmospheric circulation anomalies relevant to M2 exhibit a quasi-barotropic structure, its existence cannot simply be attributed to differential land–sea heating. El Niño events tend to occur in the negative phase of M1 and the positive phase of M2, both corresponding to a weakened EAWM. The Arctic Oscillation does not appear to impact the EAWM on interannual time scales. Although the spatial patterns for the two modes are very different, the two distinct modes are complementary, with the leading EAWM mode being a linear combination of the two. The results herein therefore demonstrate that a single EAWM index may be inappropriate for investigating and predicting the EAWM.

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Bingyi Wu, Jingzhi Su, and Rosanne D’Arrigo

Abstract

This paper describes two dominant patterns of Asian winter climate variability: the Siberian high (SH) pattern and the Asia–Arctic (AA) pattern. The former depicts atmospheric variability closely associated with the intensity of the Siberian high, and the latter characterizes the teleconnection pattern of atmospheric variability between Asia and the Arctic, which is distinct from the Arctic Oscillation (AO). The AA pattern plays more important roles in regulating winter precipitation and the 850-hPa meridional wind component over East Asia than the SH pattern, which controls surface air temperature variability over East Asia.

In the Arctic Ocean and its marginal seas, sea ice loss in both autumn and winter could bring the positive phase of the SH pattern or cause the negative phase of the AA pattern. The latter corresponds to a weakened East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) and enhanced winter precipitation in the midlatitudes of the Asian continent and East Asia. For the SH pattern, sea ice loss in the prior autumn emerges in the Siberian marginal seas, and winter loss mainly occurs in the Barents Sea, Labrador Sea, and Davis Strait. For the AA pattern, sea ice loss in the prior autumn is observed in the Barents–Kara Seas, the western Laptev Sea, and the Beaufort Sea, and winter loss only occurs in some areas of the Barents Sea, the Labrador Sea, and Davis Strait. Simulation experiments with observed sea ice forcing also support that Arctic sea ice loss may favor frequent occurrence of the negative phase of the AA pattern. The results also imply that the relationship between Arctic sea ice loss and winter atmospheric variability over East Asia is unstable, which is a challenge for predicting the EAWM based on Arctic sea ice loss.

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Edward R. Cook, Rosanne D. D'Arrigo, and Michael E. Mann

Abstract

A new, well-verified, multiproxy reconstruction of the winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index is described that can be used to examine the variability of the NAO prior to twentieth century greenhouse forcing. It covers the period a.d. 1400–1979 and successfully verifies against independent estimates of the winter NAO index from European instrumental and noninstrumental data as far back as 1500. The best validation occurs at interannual timescales and the weakest at multidecadal periods. This result is a significant improvement over previous proxy-based estimates, which often failed to verify prior to 1850, and is related to the use of an extended reconstruction model calibration period that reduced an apparent bias in selected proxies associated with the impact of anomalous twentieth century winter NAO variability on climate teleconnections over North Atlantic sector land areas. Although twentieth century NAO variability is somewhat unusual, comparable periods of persistent positive-phase NAO are reconstructed to have occurred in the past, especially before 1650.

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Bingyi Wu, Renhe Zhang, Rosanne D'Arrigo, and Jingzhi Su

Abstract

Using NCEP–NCAR reanalysis and Japanese 25-yr Reanalysis (JRA-25) data, this paper investigates the association between winter sea ice concentration (SIC) in Baffin Bay southward to the eastern coast of Newfoundland, and the ensuing summer atmospheric circulation over the mid- to high latitudes of Eurasia. It is found that winter SIC anomalies are significantly correlated with the ensuing summer 500-hPa height anomalies that dynamically correspond to the Eurasian pattern of 850-hPa wind variability and significantly influence summer rainfall variability over northern Eurasia. Spring atmospheric circulation anomalies south of Newfoundland, associated with persistent winter–spring SIC and a horseshoe-like pattern of sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the North Atlantic, act as a bridge linking winter SIC and the ensuing summer atmospheric circulation anomalies over northern Eurasia. Indeed, this study only reveals the association based on observations and simple simulation experiments with SIC forcing. The more precise mechanism for this linkage needs to be addressed in future work using numerical simulations with SIC and SST as the external forcings. The results herein have the following implication: Winter SIC west of Greenland is a possible precursor for summer atmospheric circulation and rainfall anomalies over northern Eurasia.

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Bingyi Wu, Renhe Zhang, Yihui Ding, and Rosanne D’Arrigo

Abstract

Resolution of a complex Hermitian matrix derived from monthly mean 850-hPa wind fields during the summer season (June–August) from 1968 to 2004 revealed four different modes of East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) variability. The leading EASM mode, accounting for 19.6% of the variance, is characterized by two different modes (M11 and M12) or their combination. Both portray a closed cyclonic or anticyclonic circulation anomaly over the western North Pacific (WNP), South China Sea (SCS), and southeastern China; corresponding anomalous geopotential height fields show a wave train structure from the WNP across Japan, the Okhotsk Sea, and Alaska to North America. Thus, the leading EASM mode characterizes the teleconnection pattern of the WNP-EASM. The correlation between M11 (M12) and the dynamic index for the WNP-EASM is 0.85 (0.51). M11 has leading spectral peaks at 15 and 3 yr, whereas M12 displays a predominant peak at 2 yr. It is found that M11 has interdecadal variations, with the transition years being circa 1973 and 1989, respectively. M11 is closely related to air–sea interactions in the SCS and the northwestern Pacific, and its association with the convective heat source over the northwestern Pacific is secondary. In contrast, M12 is closely related to the tropical convective heat source rather than tropical western Pacific sea surface temperature (SST).

The second EASM mode, accounting for 12.8% of the variance, is identified and characterized by two distinct and alternating modes or their linear combination (M21 and M22). One mode (M21) closely relates to the dual blocking high pattern detected in anomalous sea level pressure (SLP) and 500-hPa geopotential heights over the Ural Mountains and the Okhotsk Sea. The other (M22) corresponds to a dipole blocking anomaly in anomalous SLP and geopotential heights, with opposing anomalous centers in the south of Japan and the Korean peninsula, and the area between Lake Baikal and the Okhotsk Sea. M22 shows significant correlations with summer mean rainfall in southern and southeastern China. Thus, a single index of EASM is inappropriate for investigating and predicting the EASM.

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Keyan Fang, Xiaohua Gou, Fahu Chen, Edward Cook, Jinbao Li, Brendan Buckley, and Rosanne D’Arrigo
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Keyan Fang, Xiaohua Gou, Fahu Chen, Edward Cook, Jinbao Li, Brendan Buckley, and Rosanne D’Arrigo

Abstract

A preliminary study of a point-by-point spatial precipitation reconstruction for northwestern (NW) China is explored, based on a tree-ring network of 132 chronologies. Precipitation variations during the past ~200–400 yr (the common reconstruction period is from 1802 to 1990) are reconstructed for 26 stations in NW China from a nationwide 160-station dataset. The authors introduce a “search spatial correlation contour” method to locate candidate tree-ring predictors for the reconstruction data of a given climate station. Calibration and verification results indicate that most precipitation reconstruction models are acceptable, except for a few reconstructions (stations Hetian, Hami, Jiuquan, and Wuwei) with degraded quality. Additionally, the authors compare four spatial precipitation factors in the instrumental records and reconstructions derived from a rotated principal component analysis (RPCA). The northern and southern Xinjiang factors from the instrumental and reconstructed data agree well with each other. However, differences in spatial patterns between the instrumentation and reconstruction data are also found for the other two factors, which probably result from the relatively poor quality of a few stations. Major drought events documented in previous studies—for example, from the 1920s through the 1930s for the eastern part of NW China—are reconstructed in this study.

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Neil Pederson, Gordon C. Jacoby, Rosanne D. D’Arrigo, Edward R. Cook, Brendan M. Buckley, Chultemiin Dugarjav, and R. Mijiddorj

Abstract

Reconstructions of annual (prior August–current July) precipitation and streamflow, 345 yr in length (1651–1995), are presented for northeastern Mongolia based on tree-ring width data. These precipitation and streamflow reconstructions account for 54% and 48% of the respective variance in instrumental data over the past 50 years. Variations in instrumental precipitation and streamflow are within the range of those reconstructed over the length of tree-ring records. However, there appear to be more frequent extended wet periods during the twentieth century. Multitaper spectral analysis revealed statistically significant peaks at 10.8 and 12.8 yr for the precipitation reconstruction, and at 12.8 and 20.3–23.8 yr for the streamflow reconstruction. Similarly, singular spectrum analysis identified spectral modes of variation at 12 and 21 yr for both series. These spectra resemble those found for tree-ring-based precipitation reconstructions in central China as well as the western United States, and may reflect solar influences on the climate of Mongolia.

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Rosanne D’Arrigo, Rob Wilson, Clara Deser, Gregory Wiles, Edward Cook, Ricardo Villalba, Alexander Tudhope, Julia Cole, and Braddock Linsley

Abstract

Analyses of instrumental data demonstrate robust linkages between decadal-scale North Pacific and tropical Indo-Pacific climatic variability. These linkages encompass common regime shifts, including the noteworthy 1976 transition in Pacific climate. However, information on Pacific decadal variability and the tropical high-latitude climate connection is limited prior to the twentieth century. Herein tree-ring analysis is employed to extend the understanding of North Pacific climatic variability and related tropical linkages over the past four centuries. To this end, a tree-ring reconstruction of the December–May North Pacific index (NPI)—an index of the atmospheric circulation related to the Aleutian low pressure cell—is presented (1600–1983). The NPI reconstruction shows evidence for the three regime shifts seen in the instrumental NPI data, and for seven events in prior centuries. It correlates significantly with both instrumental tropical climate indices and a coral-based reconstruction of an optimal tropical Indo-Pacific climate index, supporting evidence for a tropical–North Pacific link extending as far west as the western Indian Ocean. The coral-based reconstruction (1781–1993) shows the twentieth-century regime shifts evident in the instrumental NPI and instrumental tropical Indo-Pacific climate index, and three previous shifts. Changes in the strength of correlation between the reconstructions over time, and the different identified shifts in both series prior to the twentieth century, suggest a varying tropical influence on North Pacific climate, with greater influence in the twentieth century. One likely mechanism is the low-frequency variability of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and its varying impact on Indo-Pacific climate.

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Kevin J. Anchukaitis, Rosanne D. D’Arrigo, Laia Andreu-Hayles, David Frank, Anne Verstege, Ashley Curtis, Brendan M. Buckley, Gordon C. Jacoby, and Edward R. Cook

Abstract

Northwestern North America has one of the highest rates of recent temperature increase in the world, but the putative “divergence problem” in dendroclimatology potentially limits the ability of tree-ring proxy data at high latitudes to provide long-term context for current anthropogenic change. Here, summer temperatures are reconstructed from a Picea glauca maximum latewood density (MXD) chronology that shows a stable relationship to regional temperatures and spans most of the last millennium at the Firth River in northeastern Alaska. The warmest epoch in the last nine centuries is estimated to have occurred during the late twentieth century, with average temperatures over the last 30 yr of the reconstruction developed for this study [1973–2002 in the Common Era (CE)] approximately 1.3° ± 0.4°C warmer than the long-term preindustrial mean (1100–1850 CE), a change associated with rapid increases in greenhouse gases. Prior to the late twentieth century, multidecadal temperature fluctuations covary broadly with changes in natural radiative forcing. The findings presented here emphasize that tree-ring proxies can provide reliable indicators of temperature variability even in a rapidly warming climate.

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