National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2009

Arctic air temperature change amplification and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation

Chylek, P., C.K. Folland, G. Lesins, M.K. Dubey, and M. Wang

Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L14801, doi: 10.1029/2009GL038777 (2009)

Understanding Arctic temperature variability is essential for assessing possible future melting of the Greenland ice sheet, Arctic sea ice and Arctic permafrost. Temperature trend reversals in 1940 and 1970 separate two Arctic warming periods (1910-1940 and 1970-2008) by a significant 1940-1970 cooling period. Analyzing temperature records of the Arctic meteorological stations we find that (a) the Arctic amplification (ratio of the Arctic to global temperature trends) is not a constant but varies in time on a multi-decadal time scale, (b) the Arctic warming from 1910-1940 proceeded at a significantly faster rate than the current 1970-2008 warming, and (c) the Arctic temperature changes are highly correlated with the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) suggesting the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation is linked to the Arctic temperature variability on a multi-decadal time scale.

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