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Atmospheric Teleconnection over Eurasia Induced by Aerosol Radiative Forcing...

Kim, M., W. Lau, M. Chin, K. Kim, Y. C. Sud, and G. K. Walker (2006), Atmospheric Teleconnection over Eurasia Induced by Aerosol Radiative Forcing during Boreal Spring, J. Climate, 19, 4700-4718.

The direct effects of aerosols on global and regional climate during boreal spring are investigated based on numerical simulations with the NASA Global Modeling and Assimilation Office finite-volume general circulation model (fvGCM) with Microphyics of Clouds with the Relaxed–Arakawa Schubert Scheme (McRAS), using aerosol forcing functions derived from the Goddard Ozone Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport model (GOCART).

The authors find that anomalous atmospheric heat sources induced by absorbing aerosols (dust and black carbon) excite a planetary-scale teleconnection pattern in sea level pressure, temperature, and geopotential height spanning North Africa through Eurasia to the North Pacific. Surface cooling due to direct effects of aerosols is found in the vicinity and downstream of the aerosol source regions, that is, South Asia, East Asia, and northern and western Africa. Significant atmospheric heating is found in regions with large loading of dust (over northern Africa and the Middle East) and black carbon (over Southeast Asia). Paradoxically, the most pronounced feature in aerosol-induced surface temperature is an east–west dipole anomaly with strong cooling over the Caspian Sea and warming over central and northeastern Asia, where aerosol concentrations are low. Analyses of circulation anomalies show that the dipole anomaly is a part of an atmospheric teleconnection pattern driven by atmospheric heating anomalies induced by absorbing aerosols in the source regions, but the influence was conveyed globally through barotropic energy dispersion and sustained by feedback processes associated with the regional circulations.

The surface temperature signature associated with the aerosol-induced teleconnection bears striking resemblance to the spatial pattern of observed long-term trend in surface temperature over Eurasia. Additionally, the boreal spring wave train pattern is similar to that reported by Fukutomi et al. associated with the boreal summer precipitation seesaw between eastern and western Siberia. The results of this study raise the possibility that global aerosol forcing during boreal spring may play an important role in spawning atmospheric teleconnections that affect regional and global climates.

Research Program: 
Modeling Analysis and Prediction Program (MAP)