Atlantic Arctic Ocean, atmosphere, and sea-ice controls of cold season Greenland coastal air temperatures, 1873-2013

Authors: Thomas Ballinger*, Texas State University, Saber Brasher, University of Delaware, Edward Hanna, University of Lincoln, Richard Hall, University of Lincoln, Marco Tedesco, Columbia University, Emily Greene, Texas State University
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Cryosphere
Keywords: Greenland, air temperature, sea ice, North Atlantic Oscillation, Greenland Blocking
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


Arctic amplification, the increased warming trend of boreal high latitude surface air temperatures (SAT) relative to lower latitudes, is known to spatiotemporally vary over the observational record with the strongest signal found across cold season months (i.e. October – March). Greenland and the surrounding North Atlantic cryosphere have experienced particularly strong, recent temperature variability and warming in the last 30-40 years, however the interplay of regional oceanic and atmospheric patterns (e.g. Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), Greenland Blocking (GB)) that contribute to long-term air temperature fluctuations is not well understood. Using a set of Danish Meteorological Institute SAT observations back to 1873, variations in autumn (October – December) and winter (January – March) Greenland coastal temperatures (GCT) are analyzed and related to long-term, reconstructed marginal sea ice and surface temperature and atmospheric circulation series using a principal component regression approach. Contemporaneous and lagged ocean-atmosphere co-variability with the seasonal air temperature records is assessed through application of multiple statistical models. Preliminary results suggest that temporally coherent (zero-lag) NAO and GB explain 20-40% of the autumn GCT variance, maximized at Narsarsuaq (southern Greenland; ~40%) and diminishing northward at Upernavik (northwest Greenland; ~20%). Smaller amounts of the variance are explained by local Baffin Bay and Labrador Sea ice concentration and AMO, suggesting that regional wind patterns and the background oceanic state modulate cryosphere conditions and feedbacks with GCT beyond the documented coupling within the last half century.

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