| Increasing occurrence of cold and warm extremes during the recent global warming slowdown - :20433 | Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR)
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Increasing occurrence of cold and warm extremes during the recent global warming slowdown
  • Published Date:
    2018
  • Source:
    Nature Communications, 9, 12.
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Increasing occurrence of cold and warm extremes during the recent global warming slowdown
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  • Description:
    The recent levelling of global mean temperatures after the late 1990s, the so-called global warming hiatus or slowdown, ignited a surge of scientific interest into natural global mean surface temperature variability, observed temperature biases, and climate communication, but many questions remain about how these findings relate to variations in more societally relevant temperature extremes. Here we show that both summertime warm and wintertime cold extreme occurrences increased over land during the so-called hiatus period, and that these increases occurred for distinct reasons. The increase in cold extremes is associated with an atmospheric circulation pattern resembling the warm Arctic-cold continents pattern, whereas the increase in warm extremes is tied to a pattern of sea surface temperatures resembling the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. These findings indicate that large-scale factors responsible for the most societally relevant temperature variations over continents are distinct from those of global mean surface temperature.

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