59 Physical Mechanisms of Eurasian Winter Temperature Variability

Monday, 23 January 2017
Kwang-Yul Kim, Seoul National Univ., Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)

Despite the on-going global warming, recent winters in Eurasian mid-latitudes were much colder than average.  In an attempt to better understand the physical characteristics for cold Eurasian winters, major sources of variability in surface air temperature (SAT) are investigated based on cyclostationary EOF analysis.  The two leading modes of SAT variability represent the effect of Arctic amplification (AA) and the Arctic oscillation (AO), respectively.  These two modes are distinct in terms of the physical characteristics, including surface energy fluxes, and tropospheric and stratospheric circulation, and result in significantly different winter SAT patterns over the Eurasian continent.  The AA-related SAT anomalies are dipolar with warm Arctic, centered at the Barents–Kara Seas, and cold East Asia.  In contrast, the negative AO-related SAT anomalies are characterized by widespread cold anomalies in Northern Eurasia.  The lower tropospheric and near surface conditions in the Arctic are generally of opposite signs and different magnitudes between the two modes.  Specifically, the AA mode reflects a strong surface forcing, whereas the AO mode a strong stratospheric forcing.
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