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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 18 Dec 2019

Submitted as: research article | 18 Dec 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Atmospheric teleconnection processes linking winter air stagnation and haze extremes in China with regional Arctic sea ice decline

Yufei Zou1, Yuhang Wang2, Zuowei Xie3, Hailong Wang1, and Philip J. Rasch1 Yufei Zou et al.
  • 1Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA99354, USA
  • 2School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Instituteof Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
  • 3International Center for Climate and Environment Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029, China

Abstract. Recent studies suggested significant impacts of boreal cryosphere changes on wintertime air stagnation and haze pollution extremes in China. However, the underlying mechanism of such a teleconnection relationship remains unclear. Here we used the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) to investigate dynamic processes leading to atmospheric circulation and air stagnation responses to Arctic sea ice changes. We conducted four climate sensitivity experiments by perturbing sea ice concentrations (SIC) and corresponding sea surface temperature (SST) in autumn and early winter over the whole Arctic and three sub-regions in the climate model. The results indicate different responses in the general circulation and regional ventilation to the region-specific Arctic changes, with the largest increase of both the probability (by 120 %) and the intensity (by 32 %) of air stagnation extreme events being found in the experiment driven by SIC and SST changes over the Pacific sector of the Arctic (the East Siberian and Chukchi Seas). The increased air stagnation extreme events are mainly driven by an amplified hemispheric-scale atmospheric teleconnection pattern that resembles the negative phase of the Eurasian (EU) pattern. Dynamical diagnostics suggest that convergence of transient eddy forcing in the vicinity of Scandinavia in winter is largely responsible for the amplification of the teleconnection pattern. Transient eddy vorticity fluxes dominate the transient eddy forcing and produce a barotropic anticyclonic anomaly near Scandinavia and wave-train propagation across Eurasia to the downstream regions in East Asia. The piecewise potential vorticity inversion analysis reveals that this long-range atmospheric teleconnection of the Arctic origin takes place primarily in the middle and upper troposphere. The anomalous ridge over East Asia in the middle and upper troposphere worsens regional ventilation conditions by weakening monsoon northwesterlies and enhancing temperature inversion near the surface, leading to more and stronger air stagnation and pollution extremes over eastern China in winter. Ensemble projections based on the state-of-the-art climate models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) corroborate this teleconnection relationship between high-latitude environmental changes and middle-latitude weather extremes, though the tendency and magnitude vary considerably among each participating model.

Yufei Zou et al.
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Short summary
We analyze the close relationship between winter air stagnation conditions over eastern China and antecedent Arctic sea ice loss based on climate model simulations and dynamic diagnoses. Significant increases in both the probability and intensity of air stagnant extreme events are found in the modeling result driven by sea ice and associated sea surface temperature changes over the Pacific sector of the Arctic. It reveals the climate impact of the Arctic change on mid-latitude weather extremes.
We analyze the close relationship between winter air stagnation conditions over eastern China...