An interdecadal climate dipole between Northeast Asia and Antarctica over the past five centuries

Abstract

Climate models emphasize the need to investigate inter-hemispheric climatic interactions. However, these models often underestimate the inter-hemispheric differences in climate change. With the wide application of reanalysis data since 1948, we identified a dipole pattern between the geopotential heights (GPHs) in Northeast Asia and Antarctica on the interdecadal scale in boreal summer. This Northeast Asia/Antarctica (NAA) dipole pattern is not conspicuous on the interannual scale, probably in that the interannual inter-hemispheric climate interaction is masked by strong interannual signals in the tropics associated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Unfortunately, the instrumental records are not sufficiently long-lasting to detect the interdecadal variability of the NAA. We thus reconstructed GPHs since 1565, making using the proxy records mostly from tree rings in Northeast Asia and ice cores from Antarctica. The strength of the NAA is time-varying and it is most conspicuous in the eighteenth century and after the late twentieth century. The strength of the NAA matches well with the variations of the solar radiation and tends to increase in along with its enhancement. In boreal summer, enhanced heating associated with high solar radiation in the Northern Hemisphere drives more air masses from the South to the North. This inter-hemispheric interaction is particularly strong in East Asia as a result of the Asian summer monsoon. Northeast Asia and Antarctica appear to be the key regions responsible for inter-hemispheric interactions on the interdecadal scale in boreal summer since they are respectively located at the front and the end of this inter-hemispheric trajectory.

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The data are derived from the National Center for Environmental Predictions-National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP-NCAR) reanalysis dataset since 1948

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Acknowledgements

This research is funded by the National Science Foundation of China (41471172 and U1405231), the Fellowship for 10000 People Plan of China (Distinguished Young Scientists), the Swedish STINT, VR, as well as MERGE and BECC.

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Correspondence to Keyan Fang.

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Fang, K., Chen, D., Guo, Z. et al. An interdecadal climate dipole between Northeast Asia and Antarctica over the past five centuries. Clim Dyn 52, 765–775 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-018-4161-z

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Keywords

  • Interdecadal climate change
  • Asian summer monsoon
  • Climate reconstruction
  • Northeast Asia
  • Antarctica