Coupled patterns of spatiotemporal variability in Northern Hemisphere sea level pressure and conterminous U.S. Drought

Zhihua Zhang, Michael E. Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

We apply the multitaper frequency domain-singular value decomposition signal detection method to the investigation of coherent patterns of variation in seasonal Northern Hemisphere sea level pressure and conterminous U.S. summer drought during the period 1895-1995. The analysis identifies statistically significant patterns of spatiotemporal variability on interannual and bidecadal timescales indicative of both cold-season and warm-season atmospheric influences on North American drought patterns. The most robust signal found appears to be associated with the influences of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on North American summer drought. Evidence is also found to support the existence of a roughly bidecadal drought signal tied to warm-season atmospheric circulation changes. The "Dust Bowl" conditions of the 1930s appear to result from a combination of these bidecadal influences on drought conditions that coincide with a decrease in the amplitude of interannual ENSO-related variability during the 1930s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres
Volume110
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 16 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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