Distorted Pacific–North American teleconnection at the Last Glacial Maximum

Hu, Yongyun; Xia, Yan; Liu, Zhengyu; Wang, Yuchen; Lu, Zhengyao; Wang, Tao

The Pacific–North American (PNA) teleconnection is one of the most important climate modes in the present climate condition, and it enables climate variations in the tropical Pacific to exert a significant influence on North America. Here, we show climate simulations in which the PNA teleconnection was largely distorted or broken at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The distorted PNA is caused by a split in the westerly jet stream, which is ultimately forced by the large, thick Laurentide ice sheet that was present at the LGM. Changes in the jet stream greatly alter the extratropical waveguide, distorting wave propagation from the North Pacific to North America. The distorted PNA suggests that climate variability in the tropical Pacific, notably El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), would have little direct impact on North American climate at the LGM.

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Hu, Yongyun / Xia, Yan / Liu, Zhengyu / et al: Distorted Pacific–North American teleconnection at the Last Glacial Maximum. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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