Changes in temperature, precipitation, and other variables simulated by 40 current climate models for the 21st century are approximated as the product of the global mean warming and a spatial pattern of scaled changes. These fields of standard- ized change contain consistent features of simulated change, such as larger warming over land and increased high-latitude precipitation. However, they also differ across the ensemble, with standard deviations exceeding 0.2 for temperature over most continents, and 6% per degree for tropical precipitation. These variations are found to correlate, often strongly, with indices based on those of modes of interannual variability. Annular mode indices correlate, across the 40 models, with regional pressure changes and seasonal rainfall changes, particularly in South America and Europe. Equatorial ocean warming rates link to widespread anomalies, similarly to ENSO. A Pacific–Indian Dipole (PID) index representing the gradient in warming across the maritime continent is correlated with Australian rainfall with coefficient r of − 0.8. The component of equatorial warming orthogonal to this index, denoted EQN, has strong links to temperature and rainfall in Africa and the Americas. It is proposed that these indices and their associated patterns might be termed “modes of climate change”. This is supported by
Climate Dynamics – Springer Journals
Published: May 28, 2018
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