Special issue to highlight impact of changes in Arctic climate

December 07, 2017

There's controversy in climate change research--not whether climate change exists, but how the evidence is gathered and used to inform predictions. To help bring convergence to the field and potentially accelerate action, a special issue of the Advances in Atmospheric Sciences is highlighting recent scientific work.

"Our understanding of Arctic-midlatitude linkages is still at a pre-consensus stage," said Thomas Jung, a professor of climate dynamics at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany. He also co-authored the issue's preface as a guest editor. "...it is important, therefore, to bring together the latest research results."

Titled, "Towards improving understanding and prediction of Arctic change and its linkage with Eurasian mid-latitude weather and climate" ---or "Impact of a Rapidly Changing Arctic on Eurasian Climate and Weather" for short---the special issue focuses on understanding how changes in the Arctic influence the mid-latitude regions of the globe. These areas sandwich the central tropical region. They are capped by the Earth's poles, and include Europe, most of Asia, north Africa, and much of North America.

While the increased near-surface temperature of the Arctic and the significantly decreased sea ice are undisputed facts, the link between such changes and the extreme climate and weather events in the mid-latitudes is still debated.

"The results published in the journal further present where divergence occurs," said the lead editor of the special issue and preface co-author Xiangdong Zhang, a professor at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the United States. Zhang noted that this knowledge will help scientists identify areas in need of collaborative work.

The special issue includes observational results and modelling work on the problem of Arctic and Eurasian climate links, yet the work does not yet clarify the correlation. According to Zhang, areas of progress include the use of different prediction models, an increased data sample size with the help of coupled model simulations, as well as more focus on regional linkages. The entire Northern Hemisphere was examined, rather than distinct zones.

"An important aspect of this special issue is that the problem is considered from different perspectives, including weather prediction," said Jung, who also chairs the Year of Polar Prediction. The global initiative, under the guidance of the World Weather Research Programme, aims to support collaborative research that will lead to better climate and weather predictions.

"The research presented in this special issue was carried out during what we call the preparation phase of the Year of Polar Prediction," said Jung. "It will have a significant influence on the research activities during the core phase, which started in May of this year and... will run until June 2019."

With the lack of convergence, the authors call their fellow scientists to action. With more global participation in the field, and better coordinated efforts between researchers, consensus may be reached.
The preface is co-authored by Jung; Zhang, who is also a co-chair of the U.S. CLIVAR Arctic Midlatitude Working Group and co-lead on the task team of CliC/CLIVAR Northern Ocean Regional Panel on Advancing the Understanding of Climate Variability Due to Arctic-Midlatitude Linkages; Muyin Wang, a meteorologist at the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington in the United States; Yong Luo, a professor at the Center for Earth System Science at Tsinghua University in China; Tido Semmler, a senior scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research; and Andrew Orr, a professor at the British Arctic Survey, and a member of the International Committee on Polar Meteorology of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences.

The authors contributing to the special issue are from institutes and universities across Europe, Asia and North America, including the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (Germany), University of Bremen (Germany), University of Bergen (Norway), University of Exeter (UK), Institute of Atmospheric Physics / Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ocean University of China, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (China), State Oceanic Administration(China), University of Washington (USA), NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (USA), University of Maryland (USA), NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction, North Carolina A&T State University (USA), and University of Alaska Fairbanks(USA), etc.

Advances in Atmospheric Sciences is an international journal on the dynamics, physics, and chemistry of the atmosphere and oceans. It is co-published by Springer and Science Press.

Full reference: Zhang, X., T. Jung, M. Wang, Y. Luo, T. Semmler, and A. Orr, 2018: Preface to the special issue: Towards improving understanding and prediction of Arctic change and its linkage with Eurasian mid-latitude weather and climate. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 35(1), 1-4, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-017-7004-7 .

Table of Contents


Preface to the Special Issue: Towards Improving Understanding and Prediction of Arctic Change and its Linkage with Eurasian Mid-latitude Weather and Climate

Xiangdong ZHANG, Thomas JUNG, Muyin WANG, Yong LUO, Tido SEMMLER, and Andrew ORR


Using NWP to Assess the Influence of the Arctic Atmosphere on Midlatitude Weather and Climate

Tido SEMMLER, Thomas JUNG, Marta A. KASPER, and Soumia SERRAR

Simulations of Eurasian Winter Temperature Trends in Coupled and Uncoupled CFSv2

Thomas W. COLLOW, Wanqiu WANG, and Arun KUMAR

Atmospheric Precursors of and Response to Anomalous Arctic Sea Ice in CMIP5 Models

Michael KELLEHER and James SCREEN

Remarkable Link between Projected Uncertainties of Arctic Sea-Ice Decline and Winter Eurasian Climate

Hoffman H. N. CHEUNG, Noel KEENLYSIDE, Nour-Eddine OMRANI, and Wen ZHOU

Teleconnection between Sea Ice in the Barents Sea in June and the Silk Road, Pacific-Japan and East Asian RainfallPatterns in August

Shengping HE, Yongqi GAO, Tore FUREVIK, Huijun WANG, and Fei LI

Precursor Role of Winter Sea-Ice in the Labrador Sea for Following-Spring Precipitation over Southeastern North America and Western Europe

Zhe HAN and Shuanglin LI

Recent Increased Warming of the Alaskan Marine Arctic Due to Midlatitude Linkages

James E. OVERLAND, Muyin WANG, and Thomas J. BALLINGER

Role of Extratropical Cyclones in the Recently Observed Increase in Poleward Moisture Transport into the Arctic Ocean

Gian A. VILLAMIL-OTERO, Jing ZHANG, Juanxiong HE, and Xiangdong ZHANG

Modulation of the Aleutian-Icelandic Low Seesaw and Its Surface Impacts by the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation

Fei LI, Yvan J. ORSOLINI, Huijun WANG, Yongqi GAO, and Shengping HE

Record Low Sea-Ice Concentration in the Central Arctic during Summer 2010

Jinping ZHAO, David BARBER, Shugang ZHANG, Qinghua YANG, Xiaoyu WANG, and Hongjie XIE

Changing Spring Phenology Dates in the Three-Rivers Headwater Region of the Tibetan Plateau during 1960-2013

Shuang YU, Jiangjiang XIA, Zhongwei YAN, and Kun YANG


Link between the Barents Oscillation and Recent Boreal Winter Cooling over the Asian Midlatitudes

Qi SHU, Fangli QIAO, Zhenya SONG, and Yajuan SONG

Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

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