Revisiting the trend in the occurrences of the “warm Arctic–cold Eurasian continent” temperature pattern

Yu, Lejiang; Zhong, Shiyuan; Sui, Cuijuan; Sun, Bo

The recent increasing trend of “warm Arctic, cold continents” has attracted much attention, but it remains debatable as to what forces are behind this phenomenon. Here, we revisited surface temperature variability over the Arctic and the Eurasian continent by applying the self-organizing-map (SOM) technique to gridded daily surface temperature data. Nearly 40 % of the surface temperature trends are explained by the nine SOM patterns that depict the switch to the current warm Arctic–cold Eurasia pattern at the beginning of this century from the reversed pattern that dominated the 1980s and 1990s. Further, no cause–effect relationship is found between the Arctic sea ice loss and the cold spells in the high-latitude to midlatitude Eurasian continent suggested by earlier studies. Instead, the increasing trend in warm Arctic–cold Eurasia pattern appears to be related to the anomalous atmospheric circulations associated with two Rossby wave trains triggered by rising sea surface temperature (SST) over the central North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans. On interdecadal timescale, the recent increase in the occurrences of the warm Arctic–cold Eurasia pattern is a fragment of the interdecadal variability of SST over the Atlantic Ocean as represented by the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and over the central Pacific Ocean.

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Yu, Lejiang / Zhong, Shiyuan / Sui, Cuijuan / et al: Revisiting the trend in the occurrences of the “warm Arctic–cold Eurasian continent” temperature pattern. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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