The role of downward infrared radiation in the recent arctic winter warming trend

Tingting Gong, Steven Feldstein, Sukyoung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


During the past three decades, the most rapid warming at the surface has occurred during the Arctic winter. By analyzing daily ERA-Interim data, it is found that the majority of the winter warming trend north of 708N can be explained by the trend in the downward infrared radiation (IR). This downward IR trend can be attributed to an enhanced poleward flux of moisture and sensible heat into the Arctic by poleward-propagating Rossby waves, which increases the total column water and temperature within this region. This enhanced moisture flux is mostly due to changes in the planetary-scale atmospheric circulation rather than an increase in moisture in lower latitudes. The results of this study lead to the question of whether Arctic amplification has mostly arisen through changes in the Rossby wave response to greenhouse gas forcing and its impact on moisture transport into the Arctic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4937-4949
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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