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The Spatiotemporal Structure of Twentieth-Century Climate Variations in...

Chen, J., A. Del Genio, B. E. Carlson, and M. G. Bosilovich (2008), The Spatiotemporal Structure of Twentieth-Century Climate Variations in Observations and Reanalyses. Part I: Long-Term Trend, J. Climate, 21, 2611-2633, doi:10.1175/2007JCLI2011.1.

The dominant interannual El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon and the short length of climate observation records make it difficult to study long-term climate variations in the spatiotemporal domain. Based on the fact that the ENSO signal spreads to remote regions and induces delayed climate variation through atmospheric teleconnections, an ENSO-removal method is developed through which the ENSO signal can be approximately removed at the grid box level from the spatiotemporal field of a climate parameter. After this signal is removed, long-term climate variations are isolated at mid- and low latitudes in the climate parameter fields from observed and reanalysis datasets. This paper addresses the long-term global warming trend (GW); a companion paper concentrates on Pacific pan-decadal variability (PDV).

The warming that occurs in the Pacific basin (approximately 0.4 K in the twentieth century) is much weaker than in surrounding regions and the other two ocean basins (approximately 0.8 K). The modest warming in the Pacific basin is likely due to its dynamic nature on the interannual and decadal time scales and/or the leakage of upper ocean water through the Indonesian Throughflow.

Based on the National Centers for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP–NCAR) and the 40-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) ReAnalysis (ERA-40), a comprehensive atmospheric structure associated with the GW trend is given. Significant discrepancies exist between the two datasets, especially in the tightly coupled dynamics and water vapor fields. The dynamics fields based on NCEP–NCAR, which show a change in the Walker Circulation, are consistent with the GW change in the surface temperature field. However, intensification in the Hadley Circulation is associated with GW trend in ERA-40 instead.

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Modeling Analysis and Prediction Program (MAP)