Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2003, Vol. 58 ›› Issue (4): 559-568.doi: 10.11821/xb200304010

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Influence of Arctic Oscillation on Winter Climate over China

GONG Daoyi1, WANG Shaowu2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster Institute of Resources Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China;
    2. Department of Atmospheric Science, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2002-11-26 Revised:2003-03-05 Online:2003-07-25 Published:2003-07-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. NSFC-40105007; the Excellent Young Teachers Program of MOE, No. EYTP-1964


In this study the relationships between the Arctic Oscillation and climate in China in boreal winter are investigated. The data used in this study include NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis monthly mean sea level pressure, 500 hPa geopotential heights, two Arctic Oscillation indices, and the observed temperature and precipitation. Correlation analysis for the last 41 years shows that the winter temperature and precipitation in China change in phase with AO. High positive correlation between temperature and AO is above +0.4 and appears in the northern China. High correlation coefficients between precipitation and AO cover the southern China (close to the South China Sea) and the central China (between 30o-40oN and east of ~100oE), with the values varying between +0.3 and +0.4. The correlation between the 160-station average temperature and the simultaneous sea level pressure show that the winter temperature of China is strongly connected to the sea level pressure over the high latitudes of Eurasia continent. The center is located in Siberia with values lower than -0.6. The partial correlation between the intensity of Siberian High and averaged temperature in China remains -0.58, when AO keeps constant. But the partial correlation between temperature and AO is only 0.14 when the influence of Siberian High is excluded. The relationship between AO and precipitation is also significant. The partial correlation between AO and mean precipitation of 160 stations is 0.36. But when the AO's influence is excluded, the partial correlation between the intensity of Siberian High and precipitation is only -0.16. This suggests that during the past several decades the precipitation was strongly affected by AO, but for the temperature the Siberian High plays a more important role. AO and the Siberian High correlate at -0.51, according to the data for the period 1958/59-1994/95. The possible dynamical connection between AO and the Siberian High needs further study. Using the long-term series of AO and the Siberian High spanning 1899/1900-1994/1995, their connections to climate in China are analyzed too. At the interdecadal time scale the AO shows significant influence on both temperature and precipitation. Partial correlation between AO and temperature is 0.66. For precipitation the correlation coefficient is 0.70.

Key words: Arctic Oscillation, China, climate