Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 127, Issue 3–4, pp 761–767 | Cite as

Intercomparison of the temperature contrast between the arctic and equator in the pre- and post periods of the 1976/1977 regime shift

  • Jiaxi Cai
  • Jianjun XuEmail author
  • Alfred M. PowellJr.
  • Zhaoyong Guan
  • Li Li
Original Paper


Based on the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) reanalysis temperature dataset in the period of 1948–2014, the temperature contrast between the Arctic and equator in the pre- and post periods of the 1976/1977 regime shift is compared. An index measuring the temperature contrast is defined as the difference between the Arctic zone (70° N–90° N) and the equatorial region (10° S–10° N). The variations of the temperature contrast can be mainly explained by the local sea ice variations through sea ice–albedo–temperature feedback before 1976/1977 and the energy transportation to the Arctic together with the local sea ice after 1976/1977. The impacts of the Arctic minus equator (AmE) temperature contrast on the high-level westerly jet, and the polar easterlies show a significant difference during the two periods. A strong temperature anomaly associated with the temperature contrast in the two periods is found in the high latitude, but different patterns are observed at the high and low levels. The correlated water vapor appeared in the Indian Ocean and Maritime Continent before 1976/1977 and moved to northeastern Canada and eastern North America after 1976/1977.


Regime Shift Temperature Contrast Arctic Zone Arctic Warming Ferrel Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank the agencies for providing the data sets including the NOAA/CDC website and the Hadley Centre website. Constructive comments from anonymous reviewers and Dr. Hartmut Graßl helped to improve this manuscript. The first author is partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation (41105056, 41330425) and supported under the State Scholarship Fund (201308320043).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiaxi Cai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jianjun Xu
    • 2
    Email author
  • Alfred M. PowellJr.
    • 3
  • Zhaoyong Guan
    • 1
  • Li Li
    • 4
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster of Ministry of Education, School of Atmospheric SciencesNanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST)NanjingChina
  2. 2.Global Environment and Natural Resources Institute (GENRI), College of ScienceGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  3. 3.NOAA/NESDIS/Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR)College ParkUSA
  4. 4.Shanghai Marine Meteorological CentreShanghaiChina

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