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Prevalence of Decadal Variability Within the Arctic Climate System
AuthorWeber, Kaitlyn Judith
AdvisorMcAfee, Stephanie A
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This study presents a modern assessment of the spatial and temporal characteristics of decadal climate variability in the Arctic. Using a combination of observational data, reanalysis, and proxy reconstructions, decadal variability of mean annual and seasonal (winter, DJF; summer, JJA) surface air temperature (SAT) and precipitation are investigated from 1901-2013 across the Arctic region. Singular spectrum analysis was used to separate variability into interannual (1-9 years), decadal (10-30 years), and multidecadal (30-60 years) components. In addition to identifying the presence, prominence, and patterns of decadal variability throughout the region, connections to internal modes of atmospheric and oceanic variability are examined and discussed.Decadal variability is found to be a regionally important and seasonally dependent characteristic of Arctic climate. Overall, decadal variability of temperature displays more coherent and consistent patterns across datasets than precipitation. While increased decadal variability was observed in both temperature and precipitation, a strong seasonal contrast was apparent in temperature patterns. It is reasonable to suggest a link between decadal variability of Arctic temperature and natural modes of variability, although a link to precipitation remains unclear.