Heat transport pathways into the Arctic and their connections to surface air temperatures
Arctic amplification causes the meridional temperature gradient between middle and high latitudes to decrease. Through this decrease the large-scale circulation in the midlatitudes may change and therefore the meridional transport of heat and moisture increases. This in turn may increase Arctic warming even further. To investigate patterns of Arctic temperature, horizontal transports and their changes in time, we analysed ERA-Interim daily winter data of vertically integrated horizontal moist static energy transport using self-organizing maps (SOMs). Three general transport pathways have been identified: the North Atlantic pathway with transport mainly over the northern Atlantic, the North Pacific pathway with transport from the Pacific region, and the Siberian pathway with transport towards the Arctic over the eastern Siberian region. Transports that originate from the North Pacific are connected to negative temperature anomalies over the central Arctic. These North Pacific pathways have been becoming less frequent during the last decades. Patterns with origin of transport in Siberia are found to have no trend and show cold temperature anomalies north of Svalbard. It was found that transport patterns that favour transport through the North Atlantic into the central Arctic are connected to positive temperature anomalies over large regions of the Arctic. These temperature anomalies resemble the warm Arctic–cold continents pattern. Further, it could be shown that transport through the North Atlantic has been becoming more frequent during the last decades.