Arctic warming, atmospheric blocking and cold European winters in CMIP5 models
To link to this article DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/9/1/014002
Amplified Arctic warming is expected to have a significant longterm influence on the midlatitude atmospheric circulation by the latter half of the 21st century. Potential influences of recent and near future Arctic changes on shorter timescales are much less clear, despite having received much recent attention in the literature. In this letter, climate models from the recent CMIP5 experiment are analysed for evidence of an influence of Arctic temperatures on midlatitude blocking and cold European winters in particular. The focus is on the variability of these features in detrended data and, in contrast to other studies, limited evidence of an influence is found. The occurrence of cold European winters is found to be largely independent of the temperature variability in the key Barents–Kara Sea region. Positive correlations of the Barents–Kara temperatures with Eurasian blocking are found in some models, but significant correlations are limited.