Forced Atmospheric Teleconnections during 1979-2014
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Forced Atmospheric Teleconnections during 1979-2014
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    Journal of Climate, 29(7), 2333-2357.
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Forced Atmospheric Teleconnections during 1979-2014
  • Description:
    Forced atmospheric teleconnections during 1979-2014 are examined using a 50-member ensemble of atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) simulations subjected to observed variations in sea surface temperatures (SSTs), sea ice, and carbon dioxide. Three primary modes of forced variability are identified using empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis of the ensemble mean wintertime extratropical Northern Hemisphere 500-hPa heights. The principal component time series of the first and second modes are highly correlated with Nino-3.4 and trans-Nino (TNI) SST indices, respectively, indicating mostly tropical sources. Their impacts are largely confined to the Pacific-North American (PNA) sector. The leading mode describes the canonical atmospheric teleconnection associated with El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) resembling the tropical/Northern Hemisphere pattern. The second mode describes a wave train resembling the classic PNA pattern resulting from atmospheric sensitivity to ENSO asymmetry and from sensitivity to a tropical precursor SST for ENSO development. The third mode is characterized by a hemisphere-scale increasing trend in heights. Based on a comparison with 50-member coupled ocean-atmosphere model simulations, it is argued that this mode is strongly related to radiatively forced climate change, while the other two forced teleconnections are principally related to internal coupled variability. A trend in the leading forced mode is related to ENSO-like decadal variability and dominates the overall observed 500-hPa height trend since 1979. These model results indicate that the trend in the first mode is due to internal variability rather than external radiative forcing.
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