Main content area

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

Huang, Yu, Li, Tim, Wu, Bo
Climate dynamics 2019 v.52 no.7-8 pp. 4447-4461
General Circulation Models, basins, climate, cooling, global warming, greenhouse gases, latent heat flux, theoretical models, wind
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.