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Role of Atlantic air–sea interaction in modulating the effect of Tibetan Plateau heating on the upstream climate over Afro-Eurasia–Atlantic regions

Lu, Mengmeng, Huang, Bohua, Li, Zhenning, Yang, Song, Wang, Ziqian
Climate dynamics 2019 v.53 no.1-2 pp. 509-519
Earth system science, Sahel, latitude, models, summer, surface water temperature, troposphere, Arctic region, China, Europe, Japan, North America, Western Africa
Previous studies have demonstrated that atmospheric diabatic heating over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) exerts significant influences on the “upstream” climate of the Atlantic-African-European sector in boreal summer. Using the NCAR Community Earth System Model, this study demonstrates that the TP-induced change in North Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) including evident warming over the mid-latitude North Atlantic and cooling over the south can in turn modulate the above TP impact. Compared with the TP heating experiment without Atlantic SST variation, anomalous wave train pattern appears with north-northeastward downstream influences when the change in Atlantic SST is considered. The wave train pattern is characterized by three positive centers over the North Atlantic, the Arctic Ocean, and east of Japan, and four negative centers over northeastern North America, North Europe, the mid-Atlantic, and the northwestern Pacific. It intensifies the northern portions of the TP-induced tropospheric anticyclones over the extratropical North Atlantic and the cyclones over northeastern North America and North Europe. Correspondingly, precipitation decreases over the northwestern Atlantic but increases over northeastern North America and North Europe. Due to the easterly anomalies on the southern side of the weakened thermal low over subtropical Africa, precipitation over the Sahel decreases, indicating a weakening of TP-induced precipitation dipole over the tropical eastern Atlantic and West Africa when the Atlantic SST influence is considered. Overall, the modulation of Atlantic SST variation accounts for above 20 percent of the upstream climate signals induced by the TP thermal effect.