Skip to main content

Intercomparison of the temperature contrast between the arctic and equator in the pre- and post periods of the 1976/1977 regime shift

Abstract

Based on the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) reanalysis temperature dataset in the period of 1948–2014, the temperature contrast between the Arctic and equator in the pre- and post periods of the 1976/1977 regime shift is compared. An index measuring the temperature contrast is defined as the difference between the Arctic zone (70° N–90° N) and the equatorial region (10° S–10° N). The variations of the temperature contrast can be mainly explained by the local sea ice variations through sea ice–albedo–temperature feedback before 1976/1977 and the energy transportation to the Arctic together with the local sea ice after 1976/1977. The impacts of the Arctic minus equator (AmE) temperature contrast on the high-level westerly jet, and the polar easterlies show a significant difference during the two periods. A strong temperature anomaly associated with the temperature contrast in the two periods is found in the high latitude, but different patterns are observed at the high and low levels. The correlated water vapor appeared in the Indian Ocean and Maritime Continent before 1976/1977 and moved to northeastern Canada and eastern North America after 1976/1977.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  1. Bengtsson L, Hagemann S, Hodges KI (2004) Can climate trends be calculated from reanalysis data? J Geophys Res 109:D11111. doi:10.1029/2004JD004536

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Bromwich DH, Fogt R, Hodges KI, Walsh JE (2007) A tropospheric assessment of the ERA-40, NCEP, and JRA-25 global reanalyses in the polar regions. J Geophys Res 112:D10111. doi:10.1029/2006JD007859

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Chelliah M, Bell GD (2004) Tropical multidecadal and interannual climate variability in the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis. J Clim 17:1777–1803

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Comiso JC (2012) Large decadal decline of the Arctic multiyear ice cover. J Clim 25:1176–1193

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Ding Q, Wallace JM, Battisti DS, Steig EJ, Gallant AJE, Kim HJ, Geng L (2014) Tropical forcing of the recent rapid Arctic warming in northeastern Canada and Greenland. Nature 509:209–212

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Graversen RG, Mauritsen T, Tjernstrom M, Kallen E, Svensson G (2008) Vertical structure of recent Arctic warming. Nature 541:53–56

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Hare S, Mantua N (2000) Empirical evidence for North Pacific regime shifts in 1977 and 1989. Prog Oceanogr 47:103–145

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Hawkins E, Sutton R (2009) The potential to narrow uncertainty in regional climate predictions. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 90:1095–1107

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. IPCC (2007) In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL(eds) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

  10. Jones PD, Raper SCB, Bradley RS, Diaz HF, Kellyo PM, Wigley TML (1986a) Northern hemisphere surface air temperature variations, 1851-1984. J Clim Appl Meteorol 25:161–179

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Jones PD, Wigley TML, Wright PB (1986b) Global temperature variations between 1861 and 1984. Nature 322:430–434

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Kalnay E et al (1996) The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 77:437–471

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Kinter JL, Fennessy MJ, Krishnamurthy V, Marx L (2004) An evaluation of the apparent interdecadal shift in the tropical divergent circulation in the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis. J Clim 17:349–361

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Liu Z (2012) Dynamics of interdecadal climate variability: a historical perspective. J Clim 25:1963–1994

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Meehl GA, Hu AX, Santer BD (2009) The mid-1970s climate shift in the pacific and the relative roles of forced versus inherent decadal variability. J Clim 22:780–792

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Nitta T, Yamada S (1989) Recent warming of tropical sea surface temperature and is relationship to the northern hemisphere circulation. J Meteorol Soc Japan 67:375–383

    Google Scholar 

  17. Overland J, Rodionov S, Minobe S, Bond N (2008) North Pacific regime shifts: definitions, issues and recent transitions. Prog Oceanogr 77:92–102

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Polyakov IV, Johnson MA (2000) Arctic decadal and interdecadal variability. Geophys Res Lett 29:4097–4100

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Polyakov IV, Alekseev GV, Bekryaev RV, Bhatt U, Colony RL, Johnson MA, Karklin VP, Makshtas AP, Walsh D, Yulin AV (2002) Observationally based assessment of polar amplification of global warming. Geophys Res Lett 29:1878. doi:10.1029/2001GL011111

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Polyakov IV, Bekryaev RV, Alekseev GV, Bhatt US, Colony RL, Johnson MA, Maskshtas AP, Walsh D (2003) Variability and trends of air temperature and pressure in the maritime Arctic, 1875–2000. J Clim 16:2067–2077

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Powell AM, Xu J (2011) A new assessment of the mid-1970s abrupt atmospheric temperature change in the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis and associated solar forcing implications. Theor Appl Climatol 104:443–458. doi:10.1007/ s00704-010-0344-1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Qian J (2008) Why precipitation is mostly concentrated over islands in the maritime continent. J Atmos Sci 65:1428–1441

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Rayner NA, Parker DE, Horton EB, Folland CK, Alexander LV, Rowell DP, Kent EC, Kaplan A (2003) Global analyses of sea surface temperature, sea ice, and night marine air temperature since the late nineteenth century. J Geophys Res 108(D14):4407. doi:10.1029/2002JD002670

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Screen JA, Simmonds I (2011) Erroneous arctic temperature trends in the ERA-40 reanalysis: a closer look. J Clim 24:2620–2627

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Screen JA, Deser C, Simmonds I (2012) Local and remote controls on observed Arctic warming. Geophys Res Lett 39:L10709. doi:10.1029/2012GL051598

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Serreze MC, Francis JA (2006) The Arctic amplification debate. Clim Change 76:241–264

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Simmons AJ et al (2004) Comparison of trends and low-frequency variability in CRU, ERA-40, and NCEP/NCAR analyses of surface air temperature. J Geophys Res 109:D24115. doi:10.1029/2004JD005306

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Sterl A (2004) On the (in)homogeneity of reanalysis products. J Clim 17:3866–3873

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Stroeve J, Holland MM, Meier W, Scambos T, Serreze M (2007) Arctic sea ice decline: faster than forecast. Geophys Res Lett 34:L09501. doi:10.1029/ 2007GL029703

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Thompson DWJ, Wallace JM (1998) The Arctic oscillation signature in the wintertime geopotential height and temperature fields. Geophys Res Lett 25:1297–1300

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Thorne PW, Vose RS (2010) Reanalyses suitable for characterizing long-term trends. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 91:353–361

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Trenberth KE (1990) Recent observed interdecadal climate changes in the northern hemisphere. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 71:988–993

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Trenberth KE, Solomon A (1994) The global heat balance: heat transports in the atmosphere and ocean. Clim Dyn 10:107–134

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Yanai M, Esbensen S, Chu JH (1973) Determination of bulk properties of tropical cloud clusters from large-scale heat and moisture budgets. J Atmos Sci 30:611–627

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Yanai M, Chu JH, Stark TE, Nitta T (1976) Response of deep and shallow tropical maritime cumuli to large-scale processes. J Atmos Sci 33:976–991

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the agencies for providing the data sets including the NOAA/CDC website and the Hadley Centre website. Constructive comments from anonymous reviewers and Dr. Hartmut Graßl helped to improve this manuscript. The first author is partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation (41105056, 41330425) and supported under the State Scholarship Fund (201308320043).

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jianjun Xu.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Cai, J., Xu, J., Powell, A.M. et al. Intercomparison of the temperature contrast between the arctic and equator in the pre- and post periods of the 1976/1977 regime shift. Theor Appl Climatol 127, 761–767 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-015-1663-z

Download citation

Keywords

  • Regime Shift
  • Temperature Contrast
  • Arctic Zone
  • Arctic Warming
  • Ferrel Cell