Potential impacts of Arctic warming on Northern Hemisphere mid-latitude aerosol optical depth

Abstract

The weather and climate conditions can provide favorable or unfavorable atmospheric background for the maintenance and development of haze events. This study investigates the potential impacts of Arctic warming on the variation of Northern Hemisphere mid-latitude aerosol optical depth (AOD) in winter when haze often occurs. We first analyze the spatio-temporal variability of wintertime AOD in mid-latitudes of Northern Hemisphere from NASA MERRA-2 for the period of 1980–2016 using the empirical orthogonal function analysis and morlet wavelet analysis. It showes increasing trend for AOD in East China and North India and decreasing trend for AOD in Europe and North America during last 37 years while inter-decadal fluctuations exist. In addition to the temporal trends of AOD, two long-term periodic variations with periods of about 7 and 11 years exist, which implies the potential impacts from natural variabilities. Further analysis shows high correlations between the mid-latitude winter AOD (WA) and Arctic summer (May and June) surface temperature (T56). Moreover, the Arctic summer surface temperature demonstrates similar periodic variations with periods of about 7–9 and 11–13 years. Both of these indicate the potential impacts of Arctic summer warming on mid-latitude winter pollution. We then analyze the temporal correlations between Arctic summer temperature and mid-latitude winter AOD in different regions. Arctic T56 correlates negatively with WA in Europe and North America, and positively with that in East Asia, North India and Middle East. Particularly, T56 in western sea of Novaya Zemlya has the most prominent correlation with the WA in mid-latitudes of East Asia, especially in East China. This implies that Arctic T56 in the Arctic circle of Europe could be used for rough estimates of winter AOD in East Asia.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant number XDA19070202), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 41575143), the ministry of science and technology of China (2017YFC1501403, 2012AA120901), the State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology (2017-ZY-02), the China “1000 plan” young scholar program, and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2017EYT18, 312231103). The data are obtained from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications version 2 (MERRA-2) product (https://disc.gsfc.nasa.gov/daac-bin/FTPSubset2.pl?LOOKUPID_List=M2I3NXGAS), and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR) (https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/gridded/data.ncep.reanalysis.derived.pressure.html).

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Chen, Y., Zhao, C. & Ming, Y. Potential impacts of Arctic warming on Northern Hemisphere mid-latitude aerosol optical depth. Clim Dyn 53, 1637–1651 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-019-04706-3

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Keywords

  • Spatio-temporal variability
  • Aerosol optical depth
  • Near surface air temperature
  • Arctic
  • Mid-latitude
  • Teleconnection