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Kenta Kawasaki, Yoshihiro Tachibana, Tetsu Nakamura, and Koji Yamazaki

Abstract

Summertime temperatures in marginal seas are, in general, colder than on the surrounding continent because of the large contrast in heat capacity between the land and the ocean. The Okhotsk Sea, which is covered by sea ice until early summer, is much colder than the surrounding continent in summer. The Okhotsk Sea is thus located in an area with one of the largest temperature contrasts of all the marginal seas in summertime midlatitudes. Cooled air over the Okhotsk Sea may have an impact on remote summer climates, such as by serving as the source of cold-air advection that results in a poor crop harvest in Japan. Here, we examine the role of the Okhotsk Sea on the early summer climate of the western part of the North Pacific through an ideal numerical experiment by artificially changing the model’s default oceanic condition in the Okhotsk Sea to a condition of land cover. Simulation results reveal that the presence of the Okhotsk Sea increases precipitation of the baiu/mei-yu front through strengthening of the northward moisture flux at the western edge of an intensified North Pacific subtropical high. The Okhotsk influence farther extends toward western North America to which the strengthened jet stream with a storm track extends. This remote influence is achievable through feedback from a transient eddy anomaly that is activated by the surface temperature gradient between the cold Okhotsk Sea and the warm Pacific Ocean. The findings imply that the existence of the Okhotsk Sea strengthens the East Asian summer monsoons.

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Koji Yamazaki, Masayo Ogi, Yoshihiro Tachibana, Tetsu Nakamura, and Kazuhiro Oshima

Abstract

The summer northern annular mode (NAM) and the winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)/winter NAM have a positive correlation from the mid-1960s to the 1980s. Namely, when the winter NAO/NAM is in a positive phase, the following summer NAM tended to be in a positive phase. During the period from the mid-1960s to the 1980s, the NAO/NAM signals extended to the stratosphere in winter. Also, the lower-tropospheric warm anomaly over northern Eurasia in winter associated with the positive phase of NAO/NAM continued into spring. In summer, the annular anomalies in the temperature and 500-hPa height fields appeared, and the high-latitude westerly wind was enhanced following the winter positive NAO/NAM. However, after circa 1990, the seasonal linkage was broken (i.e., the winter-to-summer correlation became insignificant). The stratospheric signal in the winter NAO/NAM became weak and summer signals associated with the winter NAO/NAM almost disappeared. Seasonal evolutions of atmospheric circulation and sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies associated with the winter NAO are examined for an early good-linkage period and a recent poor-linkage period. We discuss the possible causes of the linkage breakdown such as stratospheric ozone, North Atlantic SST, and Atlantic multidecadal oscillation, besides chaotic internal variability in the climate system. Simulations with the Community Earth System Model suggest that the ocean and/or sea ice with interseasonal memories possibly cause the linkage, besides large internal variability through which the linkage can take place by chance.

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