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L'article du mois (janvier 2019)


Atmospheric circulation modulates the spatial variability of temperature in the Atlantic-Arctic region. International Journal of Climatology, in press

Champagne O, B Pohl, S McKenzie, J-F Buoncristiani, E Bernard, D Joly & F Tolle ()                                               The Arctic region has experienced significant warming during the past two decades with major implications on the cryosphere. The causes of Arctic amplification are still an open question within the scientific community, attracting recent interest. The goal of this study is to quantify the contribution of atmospheric circulation on temperature variability in the Atlantic Arctic region at decadal to intra-annual timescales from 1951 to 2014. Daily 20th Century reanalyses geopotential height anomalies at 500hPa were clustered into different weather regimes to assess their contribution to observed temperature variability. The results show that, in winter, 25% of the warming (cooling) in the North Atlantic Ocean (northeastern Canada) is due to temporal decreases of high geopotential anomalies in Greenland.

This regime influences air mass migration patterns, bringing less cold (warm) air masses into these regions. Additionally, atmospheric warming or cooling has been attributed to a change in nearby oceanic basin surface conditions because of sea ice decline. In summer, about 15% of the warming observed in Norwegian/Greenland Seas is related to an increase in temporal anticyclonic patterns. This ratio reaches 37% in Norway due to an amplification from downward solar radiation. This study allows for better understanding how natural climate variability modulates the regional signature of climate change and estimating the uncertainties in climate projections.

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