Tropical forcing of increased Southern Ocean climate variability revealed by a 140-year subantarctic temperature reconstruction.

Turney, Chris S. M., Fogwill, Christopher J., Palmer, Jonathan G., van Sebille, Erik, Thomas, Zoë, McGlone, Matt, Richardson, Sarah, Wilmshurst, Janet M., Fenwick, Pavla, Zunz, Violette, Goosse, Hugues, Wilson, Kerry-Jayne, Carter, Lionel, Lipson, Mathew, Jones, Richard T., Harsch, Melanie, Clark, Graeme, Marzinelli, Ezequiel, Rogers, Tracey, Rainsley, Eleanor, Ciasto, Laura, Waterman, Stephanie, Thomas, Elizabeth R. and Visbeck, Martin (2017) Tropical forcing of increased Southern Ocean climate variability revealed by a 140-year subantarctic temperature reconstruction. Open Access Climate of the Past, 13 (3). pp. 231-248. DOI 10.5194/cp-13-231-2017.

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Abstract

Occupying about 14 % of the world's surface, the Southern Ocean plays a fundamental role in ocean and atmosphere circulation, carbon cycling and Antarctic ice-sheet dynamics. Unfortunately, high interannual variability and a dearth of instrumental observations before the 1950s limits our understanding of how marine–atmosphere–ice domains interact on multi-decadal timescales and the impact of anthropogenic forcing. Here we integrate climate-sensitive tree growth with ocean and atmospheric observations on southwest Pacific subantarctic islands that lie at the boundary of polar and subtropical climates (52–54° S). Our annually resolved temperature reconstruction captures regional change since the 1870s and demonstrates a significant increase in variability from the 1940s, a phenomenon predating the observational record. Climate reanalysis and modelling show a parallel change in tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures that generate an atmospheric Rossby wave train which propagates across a large part of the Southern Hemisphere during the austral spring and summer. Our results suggest that modern observed high interannual variability was established across the mid-twentieth century, and that the influence of contemporary equatorial Pacific temperatures may now be a permanent feature across the mid- to high latitudes.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.5194/cp-13-231-2017
ISSN: 1814-9332
Related URLs:
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2017 11:55
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 15:03
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/37117

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