Changes in the Dynamics of the Northern Hemisphere Atmospheric Circulation and the Relationship to Surface Temperature in the 20th and 21st Centuries

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Nina K. Kononova 1 and Anthony R. Lupo 2,3,*
1 Institute of Geography Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 119017, Russia; [email protected]dex.ru
2 Atmospheric Science Program, School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
3 Missouri Climate Center, College of Agriculture Food and Natural Resources, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

  • Correspondence: [email protected]; Tel.: +1-57-3489-8457
    Received: 16 January 2020; Accepted: 2 March 2020; Published: 4 March 2020

Abstract: This study examines the long-term fluctuations in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) and global atmospheric circulation, teleconnections, including blocking, and surface temperature over the period 1899–2018. The teleconnection and blocking data were available from the mid-20th century.
The classification of the global atmospheric circulation was developed from an early subjective categorization of atmospheric circulation conditions for the NH that considered the number, location, and amplitude of waves on the jet stream for frequently occurring circulation patterns. This work updated earlier studies that identified three circulation epochs based on the predominance of one of four different flow types that were grouped primarily based on whether the flow was zonal or meridional. This work noted a significant correlation between the early 21st century flow change toward the occurrence of more meridional flows and the increase in the occurrence of blocking as well as changes in the teleconnection indexes. The early 21st century was associated with a distinct change in the Northern Hemisphere flow entropy as measured using Information or Shannon Entropy, a change that was shown to be statistically significant. Additionally, this demonstrated that this quantity has utility as a dynamic diagnostic tool in atmospheric science. Finally, a comparison of these flow regimes to the 20th and 21st century variations in surface temperature were considered here. The global average annual surface temperature variations correlated strongly to fluctuations in
the predominant atmospheric circulation type.
Keywords: global atmospheric circulation; circulation epochs; global temperature; atmospheric blocking; information entropy

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