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  1. Abstract

    The summer North American dipole (NAD) is a pattern of climate variability linked to variations in boreal forest seed production and migration of seed-eating birds. This is a modeling investigation of two teleconnections identified as drivers of the NAD in prior observational work: 1) tropically sourced atmospheric Rossby waves associated with anomalies in the phase distribution of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) (i.e., phases 1 and 6 are anomalously prominent), and 2) a pan-Pacific atmospheric Rossby wave linked to East Asian monsoonal (EAM) convection. Sea surface temperature (SST) boundary forcing experiments were conducted with the Community Earth System Model 2 (CESM2) to trigger convection patterns that align with those observed during EAM and nonuniform phase distributions of MJO. For the EAM case, an El Niño–like SST dipole pattern combined with cool southern Japan SST forcing produced a convection and jet stream shift anomaly over East Asia and the northern Pacific with a positive NAD pattern downstream over North America, similar to the observed pattern when precipitation over East Asia (PEA) is relatively high. A companion experiment with only ENSO-like SST forcing also produced the NAD but featured a different structure over the Eurasian continent with a response resembling the summermore »east Atlantic (SEA) pattern over eastern North America and the eastern Atlantic. Simulation results suggest that the southern Japan SST forcing region has a secondary importance in triggering the NAD, producing only a somewhat NAD-like pattern by itself and only slightly improving the NAD produced by ENSO-like forcing. Simulations using SST forcing to induce seasonal convection anomalies with spatial patterns similar to anomalously frequent occurrence of MJO phase 1 (phase 6) produced circulation response patterns resembling the positive NAD (negative NAD).

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  2. Abstract The teleconnection mechanisms associated with midlatitude climate dipoles are of high interest because of their potential broad impacts on ecological patterns and processes. A prominent example attracting increasing research interest is a summer (June–August) North American dipole (NAD), which drives continental-scale bird irruptions in the boreal forest (semiperiodic movements of large numbers of individual birds). Here, the NAD is objectively defined as a second principal component of 500-hPa geopotential height and is linked to two mechanisms: 1) Rossby waves associated with Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) convection and 2) a pan-Pacific stationary Rossby wave triggered by East Asian monsoonal convection. The MJO mechanism relates to anomalously frequent occurrence of MJO phase 1 or 6, which are captured by the leading principal component of daily summer MJO phases (PC M1 ; accounting for 46% of the phase variance). In “nonuniform” MJO summers, defined as |PC M1 | > 0.5, anomalously frequent phase 1 triggers positive NAD, and anomalously frequent phase 6 triggers negative NAD, yielding the correlation r (NAD, PC M1 ) = 0.55, p < 0.01. During “uniform” MJO summers, defined as |PC M1 | ≤ 0.5, the effect of East Asian precipitation anomalies P EA becomes apparent, and r (NAD,more »P EA ) = 0.49, p < 0.01. The impacts of P EA are largely masked during nonuniform MJO summers, meaning this subset of summers lacks a significant correlation between the NAD and P EA . Our interpretation is that uniformly distributed MJO allows monsoonal convection over the midlatitudes to modulate the NAD, whereas tropical convection anomalies associated with anomalously frequent MJO phases 1 and 6 overwhelm the extratropical teleconnection.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 15, 2024
  3. Abstract

    A step increase in annual precipitation over the eastern United States in the early 1970s commenced five decades of invigorated hydroclimate, with ongoing impacts on streamflow and water resources. Despite its far‐reaching impacts, the dynamical origin of this change is unknown. Here analyses of a century of atmospheric and oceanic data trace the dynamics to changes in the Indian Ocean. Increases in fall precipitation contribute most strongly to the step increase, and the associated mechanism is emergence of a pan‐Pacific atmospheric wave emanating from deep convection over the warming Indian Ocean. Documentation of this fall teleconnection draws attention to projected anthropogenic increases in tropical oceanic heat content and their potential impacts on hydroclimate of the midlatitudes.