Geophysical Research Letters

Influence of subtropical and polar sea-surface temperature anomalies on temperatures in Eurasia



[1] In summer 2010 an exceptional heatwave occurred over western Russia. At the same time sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) were anomalously warm in the Barents Sea and the Arabian Sea. We investigate a possible link between these two SST anomalies by prescribing SST anomalies separately and combined in an ensemble of climate model simulations. The positive surface air temperature response over western Russia is strengthened if both SST forcings are combined. While the SST anomalies in the Arabian Sea are likely due to natural variability the sea surface in the Barents Sea is expected to warm in future and the sea-ice cover to decline enhancing the warming. Thus, we hypothesize that heatwaves over Europe and Russia will likely become more frequent as a result of the dynamic response of the atmosphere in addition to what is expected from the change in mean temperature.