Simulations of Atmospheric Variability Induced by Sea Surface Temperatures and Implications for Global Warming

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Science  28 Oct 1994:
Vol. 266, Issue 5185, pp. 632-634
DOI: 10.1126/science.266.5185.632


An atmospheric general circulation model was forced with observed interannual changes in the global sea surface temperatures (SSTs) for the period 1982 to 1993. The simulated seasonal surface air temperature patterns over land areas closely resemble the observed. Over most of the globe, the patterns also resemble those associated with EI Niño events and are also reproduced in simulations with weak warm tropical SSTs near the date line. An exception is northern Asia, where the mechanisms for the observed warming are unclear. The results suggest that enhanced air-sea interactions resulting from recent, more persistent warm oceanic conditions in the tropics contributed to the observed global warming trend during this period.