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Journal Article

The relationship between sea surface temperature anomalies and atmospheric circulation in GCM experiments


Kharin,  Viacheslav V.
MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Kharin, V. V. (1995). The relationship between sea surface temperature anomalies and atmospheric circulation in GCM experiments. Climate Dynamics, 11, 359-375. doi:10.1007/BF00215737.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-B7D3-2
Several 19-year integrations of the Hamburg version of the ECMWF/T21 general circulation model driven by the monthly mean sea surface temperature (SST) observed in 1970-1988 were examined to study extratropical response of the atmospheric circulation to SST anomalies in the Northern Hemisphere in winter. In the first 19-years run SST anomalies were prescribed globally (GAGO run), and in two others SST monthly variability was limited to extratropical regions (MOGA run) and to tropics (TOGA run), respectively. A canonical correlation analysis (CCA), which select from two time-dependent fields optimally correlated pairs of patterns, was applied to monthly anomalies of SST in the North Alantic and Pacific Oceans and monthly anomalies of sea level pressure and 500 hPa geopotential height in the Northern Hemisphere. In the GAGO run the best correlated atmospheric pattern is global and is characterized by north-south dipole structures of the same polarity in the North Atlantic and the North Pacific sectors. In the MOGA and TOGA experiments the atmospheric response is more local than in the GAGO run with main centers in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, respectively. The extratropical response in the GAGO run is not equal to the sum of the responses in the MOGA and TOGA runs. The artificial meridional SST gradients at 25 degrees 30 degrees N probably influence the results of the MOGA and TOGA runs. The atmopsheric modes found by the CCA were compared with the normal modes of the barotropic vorticity equation linearized about the 500 hPa. winter climate. The normal modes with smallest eigenvalues are similar to the model leading variability modes and canonical patterns of 500 hPa geopotential height. The corresponding eigenvectors of the adjoint operator, which represent an external forcing optimal for exciting normal modes, have a longitudinal structure with maxima in regions characterized by enhanced high frequency baroclinic activity over both oceans.