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Changes in winter cold surges over Southeast China: 1961 to 2012

Journal article
Authors Tinghai Ou
Deliang Chen
J. H. Jeong
Hans W. Linderholm
T. J. Zhou
Published in Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences
Volume 51
Issue 1
Pages 29-37
ISSN 1976-7633
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 29-37
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13143-014-0057-...
Keywords Cold surge, Siberian high, Arctic Oscillation, Southeast China, long-term climate change, INTERANNUAL VARIATION, ARCTIC OSCILLATION, MONSOON, BLOCKING, REANALYSIS, SNOWSTORM, CLIMATE, IMPACT, EVENT, ASIA, Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences

Abstract

The present study investigates the overall changes in occurrences of winter cold surges over Southeast China for the period 1961-2012, using instrumental observations, reanalysis and model simulation datasets. Based on objectively defined criteria, cold surges were classified into 3 types according to their dynamical origin as inferred from daily evolution patterns of surface pressure systems with a focus on the Siberian High (SH): type A with an amplification of a quasi-stationary SH associated with high-pressure anomalies over the Ural mountains, type B with a developing SH associated with fast traveling upper-level waves, and type C with a high-pressure originated in the Arctic. Examination of the long-term change in cold surge occurrences shows different interdecadal variations among the 3 types. During 1961-2012, type A events (37.8%) decreased, while type B events, accounting for the majority (52.5%) of total winter cold surges, increased slightly. The contribution by type C to the total occurrence of the cold surges was small (8.8%) compared to that of A and B, but it became more frequent in the latest decade, related to the tendency of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) being more in its negative phase. Overall, we found slightly increased occurrences of cold surges over Southeast China since the early 1980s, despite the weakened SH intensity and warmer mean temperature compared to previous decades. The climate model projections of the phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) suggests similar trend in the late 21st century under warmer climate.

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