Role of radiatively forced temperature changes in enhanced semi-arid warming in the cold season over east Asia
- 1Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, 730000 Lanzhou, China
- 2Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Princeton University, 08544 Princeton, New Jersey, USA
Abstract. As climate change has occurred over east Asia since the 1950s, intense interest and debate have arisen concerning the contribution of human activities to the observed warming in past decades. In this study, we investigate regional surface temperature change during the boreal cold season using a recently developed methodology that can successfully identify and separate the dynamically induced temperature (DIT) and radiatively forced temperature (RFT) changes in raw surface air temperature (SAT) data. For regional averages, DIT and RFT contribute 44 and 56 % to the SAT over east Asia, respectively. The DIT changes dominate the SAT decadal variability and are mainly determined by internal climate variability, represented by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO). Radiatively forced SAT changes have made a major contribution to the global-scale warming trend and the regional-scale enhanced semi-arid warming (ESAW). Such enhanced warming is also found in radiatively forced daily maximum and minimum SAT. The long-term global-mean SAT warming trend is mainly related to radiative forcing produced by global well-mixed greenhouse gases. The regional anthropogenic radiative forcing, however, caused the enhanced warming in the semi-arid region, which may be closely associated with local human activities. Finally, the relationship between the so-called "global warming hiatus" and regional enhanced warming is discussed.