An enhanced Warm Arctic—Cold Eurasia (WACE) pattern has been a notable feature in recent winters of the Northern Hemisphere. However, divergent results between model and observational studies of the WACE still remain. This study evaluates the performance of 39 climate models participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) in simulating the WACE pattern in winter of 1980–2014 and explores the key factors causing the differences in the simulation capability among the models. The results show that the multimodel ensemble (MME) can better simulate the spatial distribution of the WACE pattern than most single models. Models that can/cannot simulate both the climatology and the standard deviation of the Eurasian winter surface air temperature well, especially the latter, usually can/cannot simulate the WACE pattern well. This mainly results from the different abilities of the models to simulate the range and intensity of the warm anomaly in the Barents Sea—Kara seas (BKS) region. Further analysis shows that a good performance of the models in the BKS area is usually related to their ability to simulate location and persistence of Ural blocking (UB), which can transport heat to the BKS region, causing the warm Arctic, and strengthen the westerly trough downstream, cooling central Eurasia. Therefore, simulation of UB is key and significantly affects the model’s performance in simulating the WACE.
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We acknowledge the World Climate Research Program’s Working Group on Coupled Modeling and thank the climate modeling groups for producing and making available their model output. This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41790471, 42075040, and U1902209), the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA20100304), and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFA0606203, 2019YFC1510400).
• CMIP6 Models that can simulate the standard deviation of Eurasian winter temperature well usually can simulate the Warm Arctic—Cold Eurasia pattern (WACE) well.
• Simulation of the location and persistence of Ural blocking (UB) is key and significantly affects the model’s performance in simulating the Warm Arctic—Cold Eurasia pattern (WACE).
This paper is a contribution to the special issue on Changing Arctic Climate and Low/Mid-latitudes Connections.
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Zhao, L., Liu, Y., Ding, Y. et al. The Warm Arctic—Cold Eurasia Pattern and Its Key Region in Winter in CMIP6 Model Simulations. Adv. Atmos. Sci. 40, 2138–2153 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-022-2201-4
- warm Arctic—cold Eurasia pattern
- Arctic amplification
- simulation evaluation
- extreme climate
- blocking highs