The role of poleward energy transport in Arctic temperature evolution



[1] The observed evolution of Arctic troposphere temperature is the combined effect of many processes including the poleward transport of atmospheric energy. In this study we quantify the relationship between poleward energy transport and decadal temperature variations in the Arctic free-troposphere. Time series of Arctic free-troposphere mean temperature show a decade of maximal cooling centered in the late eighties, followed by a decade of pronounced warming centered in the late nineties. We show that about 25% of the decadal cooling trend can be ascribed to decreasing poleward energy transport into the Arctic, and about 50% of the decadal warming trend was due to increasing poleward energy transport. These changes were reflected throughout the free-troposphere, were associated with changing intensity of the polar meridional circulation cell, and were dominant in the autumn and winter seasons. By contrast, the last decade has been fairly neutral in terms of temperature and energy transport change.