, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 287-314

Large-Scale Climate Variability and Connections with the Middle East in Past Centuries

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We analyze reconstructions of large-scale surface temperature patterns in past centuries for insights into long-term climate change in the Middle and Near East. The temperature reconstructions, which have been described in detail previously, are based on calibration of widespread networks of high-resolution proxy and long instrumental/historical records against the 20th century global instrumental surface temperature record. We document the influence of several distinct patterns of large-scale surface temperature variation on Middle/Near East temperature (`MNET') in the region during past centuries. The dominant pattern of influence on interannual and decadal timescales is the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), exhibiting significant amplitude modulation on multidecadal and century timescales. Other patterns dominate multidecadal timescale MNET variations. The influence of such patterns, and recent decadal trends in the NAO, may mask the influence of anthropogenic climate change in the MNET region in recent decades.