Impact of Atlantic and Pacific Ocean Sea-Surface Temperatures on Russian Winter Snow Accumulation Grant uri icon



  • Considerable attention has focused in recent years on research examining interactions between the atmosphere and tropical oceans, particularly the Pacific, where the El Nino/Southern Oscillation originates. Related research has examined how temperature fluctuations in tropical waters affect climatic variability around the globe. Far less attention has been given to the dynamics and climatic consequences of comparable ocean-atmosphere interactions in mid- and high-latitude seas. This study examines spatial teleconnection patterns and temporal oscillatory characteristics, especially at decadal time scales, of the associations between sea-surface temperature (SST) anomalies over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and winter snow accumulation in Russia. The motivation for this study is recently revealed evidence that a large share of land-surface warming can be attributed to decadal and longer time scale-variations in sea-surface temperatures. A combination of advanced statistical methods will be used to analyze historical snow-depth records for Russia in combination with records of Atlantic and Pacific SSTs. Statistical approaches to be used include principal component analysis, singular spectrum analysis, multi-channel singular spectrum analysis, and singular value decomposition analysis. This study will identify geographic regions and time scales of teleconnections between Russian snow depth and SSTs over the two oceans. Atmospheric circulation anomaly patterns bridging the teleconnections with each ocean also will be examined. The proposed study will help answer questions regarding how SSTs influence regional climate in high latitudes and at what time scales. The project also will enhance our understanding of the potential causes for snow increases over the high latitudes in recent decades and should enhance the predictability of climate variations and hydrological phenomena in Eurasia.

date/time interval

  • June 1, 2000 - October 31, 2001

total award amount

  • 85,900