The changing relationship between the December North Atlantic Oscillation and the following February East Asian trough before and after the late 1980s

  • Guolin Feng
  • Meng Zou
  • Shaobo Qiao
  • Rong Zhi
  • Zhiqiang Gong


This study investigates the changing relationship between the December North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the following February East Asian trough (EAT) throughout the past 60 years. We found that the relationship between the December NAO and the following February EAT is significantly enhanced after the late 1980s compared with the period before the late 1980s. The changing relationship mainly results from the enhanced relationship between the December NAO and the following February North Atlantic mid-latitudes’ sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies (NAMA) during the same period. During the period after the late 1980s, the persistent positive (negative) NAO pattern from December to the following January contributes to a positive (negative) NAMA, which reaches its maximum magnitude in the following February and excites an anomalous wave train along the North Atlantic and northern Eurasia, and significantly impacts the EAT. During the period before the late 1980s, the positive (negative) NAO pattern during December cannot persist into the following January, and the related positive (negative) NAMA is insignificant during the following February, causing the response of the simultaneous EAT to be insignificant as well. Moreover, there exists a significant impact of the December NAO on the December–January NAMA after the late 1980s, while the December–January NAMA is relatively less affected by the December NAO before the late 1980s. As a result, the simultaneous response of the atmospheric circulation anomalies to the December–January NAMA are evident before the late 1980s, and the positive (negative) NAMA can excite an anomalous wave train along the North Atlantic and northern Eurasia and significantly deepen (shallow) the downstream EAT. By contrast, after involving a feature of atmosphere forcing of SST, the simultaneous feedback of the December–January NAMA on EAT is significantly decreased after the 1980s.


North Atlantic Oscillation East Asian trough North Atlantic SST Before and after the late 1980s Wave train 



This study acknowledges the support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41530531), Special Scientific Research Project for Public Interest (Grant no. GYHY201506001), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41575082, 41575074, 41475064).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guolin Feng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Meng Zou
    • 1
  • Shaobo Qiao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rong Zhi
    • 2
  • Zhiqiang Gong
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Physical Science and TechnologyYangzhou UniversityYangzhouChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Climate Studies, National Climate CenterChina Meteorological AdministrationBeijingChina

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