Recent temperature and precipitation increases in West Siberia and their association with the Arctic Oscillation
Article first published online: 14 DEC 2006
Volume 22, Issue 2, pages 287–300, December 2003
How to Cite
Frey, K. E. and Smith, L. C. (2003), Recent temperature and precipitation increases in West Siberia and their association with the Arctic Oscillation. Polar Research, 22: 287–300. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-8369.2003.tb00113.x
- Issue published online: 14 DEC 2006
- Article first published online: 14 DEC 2006
Surface air temperature and precipitation records for the years 1958-1999 from ten meteorological stations located throughout West Siberia are used to identify climatic trends and determine to what extent these trends are potentially attributable to the Arctic Oscillation (AO). Although recent changes in atmospheric variability are associated with broad Arctic climate change, West Siberia appears particularly susceptible to warming. Furthermore, unlike most of the Arctic, moisture transport in the region is highly variable. The records show that West Siberia is experiencing significant warming and notable increases in precipitation, likely driven, in part, by large-scale Arctic atmospheric variability. Because this region contains a large percentage of the world's peatlands and contributes a significant portion of the total terrestrial freshwater flux to the Arctic Ocean, these recent climatic trends may have globally significant repercussions. The most robust patterns found are strong and prevalent springtime warming, winter precipitation increases, and strong association of non-summer air temperatures with the AO. Warming rates for both spring (0.5-0.8 °C/decade) and annual (0.3-0.5°C/decade) records are statistically significant for nine often stations. On average, the AO is linearly congruent with 96% (winter), 19% (spring), 0% (summer), 67% (autumn) and 53% (annual) of the warming found in this study. Significant trends in precipitation occur most commonly during winter, when four of ten stations exhibit significant increases (4-13 %/decade). The AO may play a lesser role in precipitation variability and is linearly congruent with only 17% (winter), 13% (spring), 12% (summer), 1% (autumn) and 26% (annual) of precipitation trends.