Intraseasonal and interdecadal jet shifts in the Northern Hemisphere: The role of warm pool tropical convection and sea ice

Steven B. Feldstein, Sukyoung Lee

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58 Scopus citations


This study uses cluster analysis to investigate the interdecadal poleward shift of the subtropical and eddydriven jets and its relationship to intraseasonal teleconnections. For this purpose, self-organizing map (SOM) analysis is applied to the ECMWF Interim Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) zonal-mean zonal wind. The resulting SOM patterns have time scales of 4.8-5.7 days and undergo notable interdecadal trends in their frequency of occurrence. The sum of these trends closely resembles the observed interdecadal trend of the subtropical and eddy-driven jets, indicating that much of the interdecadal climate forcing is manifested through changes in the frequency of intraseasonal teleconnection patterns. Two classes of jet cluster patterns are identified. The first class of SOM pattern is preceded by anomalies in convection over the warm pool followed by changes in the poleward wave activity flux. The second class of patterns is preceded by sea ice and stratospheric polar vortex anomalies; when the Arctic sea ice area is reduced, the subsequent planetary wave anomalies destructively interfere with the climatological stationary waves. This is followed by a decrease in the vertical wave activity flux and a strengthening of the stratospheric polar vortex. An increase in sea ice area leads to the opposite chain of events. Analysis suggests that the positive trend in the ArcticOscillation (AO) up until the early 1990smight be attributed to increasedwarmpool tropical convection, while the subsequent reversal in its trendmay be due to the influence of tropical convection being overshadowed by the accelerated loss of Arctic sea ice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6497-6518
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number17
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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