Climate Dynamics

, Volume 52, Issue 5–6, pp 3175–3182 | Cite as

Dynamical evidence for causality between Northern Hemisphere annular mode and winter surface air temperature over Northeast Asia

  • Nannan Zhang
  • Geli WangEmail author
  • Anastasios A. Tsonis


Past results [Thompson and Wallace in Geophys Res Lett 25(9):1297–1300, 1998; Science 293(5527):85–89, 2001; Wallace and Thompson in J Clim 15(14):1987–1991, 2002a] indicate that over the Eurasian continent, North America, and East Asia, wintertime surface temperatures tend to be warmer (colder) on high-index (low-index) Northern Hemisphere annular mode (NAM). However, a linear correlation is neither necessary nor sufficient to establish causality between them. Here, we apply a recently developed method, convergent cross mapping (CCM), to examine the causal connections between NAM and wintertime surface air temperature (SAT) over Northeast Asia. Our analysis indicates that both NAM and SAT exhibit nonlinear dynamical structure and that NAM information is encoded in the SAT data but not the other way around. This indicates a causality between them in the direction NAM → SAT. This result opens the possibility to use the NAM index as the external driving factor to forecast winter SAT over Northeast Asia.


Northern Hemisphere annular mode Convergent cross mapping Surface air temperature over Northeast Asia Causality 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41575058 and 91737102). The authors are grateful to the three anonymous referees for their valuable comments that helped to improve the quality of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

382_2018_4317_MOESM1_ESM.docx (171 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 171 KB)
382_2018_4317_MOESM2_ESM.tiff (1001 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (TIFF 1001 KB)
382_2018_4317_MOESM3_ESM.tiff (1001 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (TIFF 1001 KB)
382_2018_4317_MOESM4_ESM.tiff (1001 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (TIFF 1001 KB)


  1. Ascioti FA, Beltrami E, Carroll TO, Wirick C (1993) Is there chaos in plankton dynamics. J Plankton Res 15(6):603–617. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baldwin MP, Dunkerton TJ (2001) Stratospheric harbingers of anomalous weather regimes. Science 294(5542):581–584. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen YH, Bressler SL, Ding MZ (2006) Frequency decomposition of conditional Granger causality and application to multivariate neural field potential data. J Neurosci Methods 150(2):228–237. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Deyle ER, Sugihara G (2011) Generalized theorems for nonlinear state space reconstruction. PLoS One. Google Scholar
  5. Ebisuzaki W (1997) A method to estimate the statistical significance of a correlation when the data are serially correlated. J Clim 10(9):2147–2158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gong DY, Wang SW (2003) Influence of Arctic Oscillation on winter climate over China. Acta Geogr J Geogr Sci 13(2):208–216. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Granger CWJ (1969) Investigating causal relations by econometric models and cross-spectra analysis. Econometrica 37(3):424–438. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hsieh CH, Glaser SM, Lucas AJ. Sugihara G (2015) Distinguishing random environmental fluctuations from ecological catastrophes for the North Pacific Ocean. Nature 435(7040):336–339. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jia Z, Wen XY, Hu YY, Guo YJ (2014) Application of stratospheric NAM signal to wintertime climate prediction. J Appl Meteorol Sci 25(1):107–111Google Scholar
  10. Kutzbach JE (1951) Large-scale and irregular variations of the Northern Hemisphere anomaly maps of sea-level pressure profile. Meteorol 8:52–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Li JP, Lian J, Wang XL (2003) A modified zonal index and its physical sense. Geophys Res Lett 30(12):341–344. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Liang SJ (2011) Diagnostic analysis on the formation of the abnormal NAM/AO Index during the winter of 2007–2008 and2009–2010. Dissertation, Chinese Academy of Meteorological SciencesGoogle Scholar
  13. Lorenz EN (1951) Seasonal and irregular variations of the Northern Hemisphere sea-level pressure profile. J Meteorol 8(1):52–59<0052:SAIVOT>2.0.CO;2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. May R, Levin SA, Sugihara G (2008) Ecology for bankers. Nature 451(7181):893–895. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McGowan JA, Deyle ER, Ye H, Carter NL, Perretti CT, Seger KD, Verneil AD, Sugihara G (2017) Predicting coastal algal blooms in southern California. Ecology 98(5):1419–1433. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Packard NH, Crutchfield JP, Farmer JD, Shaw RS (1980) Geometry from a time series. Phys Rev Lett 45:712. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Shen BZ (2013) The contact and effect of Arctic Oscillation and polar vortex in winter on frequent cold winter occurred in Eurasia since 21th century. Dissertation, Lanzhou UniversityGoogle Scholar
  18. Sugihara G (1994) Nonlinear forecasting for the classification of natural time series. Philos Trans R Soc Lond 348(1688):477–495. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sugihara G, May RM (1990) Nonlinear forecasting as a way of distinguishing chaos from measurement error in time series. Nature 334(6268):734–741CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Sugihara G, May R, Ye H, Hsieh CH, Deyle E, Fogarty M, Munch S (2012) Detecting causality in complex ecosystems. Science 338(6106):496–500. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sun C, Li JP (2012) Analysis of anomalously low surface air temperature in the Northern Hemisphere during 2009/2010 winter. Clim Environ Res 17(3):259–273. Google Scholar
  22. Takens F (1981) Detecting strange attractors in turbulence. Dynamical systems and turbulence, vol 898. Springer, Berlin, pp 366–381. Google Scholar
  23. Thompson DWJ, Wallace JM (1998) The Arctic Oscillation signature in the wintertime geopotential height and temperature fields. Geophys Res Lett 25(9):1297–1300. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Thompson DWJ, Wallace JM (2000) Annular modes in the extratropical circulation. Part I: month-to-month variability. J Clim 13(5):1000–1016.;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Thompson DWJ, Wallace JM (2001) Regional climate impacts of the Northern Hemisphere annular mode. Science 293(5527):85–89. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tsonis AA, Deyle ER, May RM, Sugihara G, Swanson K, Verbeten JD, Wang GL (2015) Dynamical evidence for causality between galactic cosmic rays and interannual variation in global temperature. PNAS 112(11):3253–3256. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wagner BK, Kitami T, Kitami T, Gibert TJ, Peck D, Ramanathan A, Schreiber SL, Golub TR, Mootha VK (2008) Large-scale chemical dissection of mitochondrial function. Nat Biotechnol 26(3):343–351. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wallace JM (2000) On the Arctic and Antarctic Oscillation. summer colloquium lecturenotes. NCARGoogle Scholar
  29. Wallace JM, Gutzler DS (1981) Teleconnections in the geopotential height field during the Northern Hemisphere winter. Mon Weather Rev 109(4):784–812.;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wallace JM, Thompson DWJ (2002a) The Pacific center of action of the Northern Hemisphere annular mode: real or artifact. J Clim 15(14):1987–1991.<1987:TPCOAO>2.0.CO;2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wallace JM, Thompson DWJ (2002b) Annular modes and climate prediction. Phys Today 55(2):28–34. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Xie ZH, Sun ZB, Zeng G, Chen HS (2009) Classification and characteristics of stratospheric northern annular model anomalies and their relationships with troposphere. Scientia Meteorology Sinica 29(4):498–506. Google Scholar
  33. Xiong GM, Chen QL, Zhu KY, Fan GZ (2013) Relationship between stratospheric polar vortex change and temperature. Precipitation in winter of China. Plateau Meteorol 31(4):1001–1006Google Scholar
  34. Zhang Q, Hu YY (2015) Relationship of stratospheric circulation anomalies with surface temperatures over Northeast Asia. Acta Sci Nat Univ Pekin 5:829–836. Google Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nannan Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Geli Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anastasios A. Tsonis
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Middle Atmosphere and Global Environment Observation, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of Mathematical Sciences Atmospheric Sciences GroupUniversity of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA
  4. 4.Hydrologic Research CenterSan DiegoUSA

Personalised recommendations