Climate Dynamics

, Volume 52, Issue 7–8, pp 4447–4461 | Cite as

Why SST trend in North Pacific is peculiarly negative against warming trend elsewhere since 1958

  • Yu Huang
  • Tim LiEmail author
  • Bo Wu


A simple theoretical model is constructed to understand the cause of a peculiar cooling trend in North Pacific under the background of the greenhouse gases induced global warming during the past 50 years. It is found that the North Pacific cooling is caused by the increase of surface upward latent heat flux due to the atmosphere and the decrease of surface downward shortwave radiative flux. The former is attributed to enhanced low-level westerlies, while the latter is caused by the increase of stratus cloud over North Pacific. An atmosphere general circulation model is utilized to investigate the cause of the wind and low-level cloud changes. It is found that the strengthened westerly in North Pacific is the result of an atmospheric teleconnection pattern forced by the SSTAs warming in the tropical Pacific. The SSTAs warming in other tropical basins, along with the local cooling in North Pacific, tends to reduce the tropical Pacific SSTAs forcing effect. In addition, the increased local low-level cloud response to the tropical Pacific SSTAs forcing is also responsible for the cooling trend in North Pacific. The increased local stratus cloud may enhance the cooling through a positive feedback among the SST, atmospheric static stability and stratus cloud.


Global warming pattern North Pacific cooling trend Atmosphere teleconnection 



This work is jointly supported by National Key R&D Program 2017YFA0603802, NSFC Grants 41630423, 41475084 and 41575043, NSF Grants AGS-15-65653 and AGS-16-43297, NOAA grant NA18-12345, and the priority academic program development of Jiangsu Higher Education institutions (PAPD). This is SOEST contribution number 10429, IPRC contribution number 1335, and ESMC number 231.

Supplementary material

382_2018_4389_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1331 KB)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education (KLME)/Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Change (ILCEC)/Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters (CIC-FEMD)Nanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.International Pacific Research Center and Department of Atmospheric Sciences, School of Ocean and Earth Science and TechnologyUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG), Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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