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Aleutian Low variability for the last 7500 years and its relation to the Westerly Jet

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 February 2021

Kana Nagashima*
Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 2-15 Natsushima-cho, Yokosuka 237-0061, Japan
Jason Addison
U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Mail Stop 910, Menlo Park, California 94025, USA
Tomohisa Irino
Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, N10W5 Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0810, Japan
Takayuki Omori
The University Museum, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
Kei Yoshimura
Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8574, Japan
Naomi Harada
Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 2-15 Natsushima-cho, Yokosuka 237-0061, Japan
*Corresponding author at e-mail: (K. Nagashima)


The Aleutian Low (AL) is one of the major atmospheric systems that determines environmental conditions during winter in the North Pacific Ocean, with impacts that affect the climates of both Asia and North America from mid- to high latitudes. However, the multi-centennial and longer scale behavior of the AL during the Holocene is not fully understood. In this study, AL variability since 7.5 ka was examined by applying the principal component analysis technique to published δ18O data derived from sedimentary calcite, peat, ice, and speleothem from western North America. The extracted Principal Component 1 (PC1) represents a dramatic change from the mid- to late Holocene, and appears to reflect long-term intensified AL related to interactions between orbitally-driven southward shift of the Westerly Jet (WJ) over East Asia and the northwestern Pacific, and intensification of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation. In contrast, PC2 is characterized by multi-centennial to millennial-scale oscillations, with a spatial loading pattern that suggests PC2 reflects AL intensity and position shifts. These oscillations are contemporaneous with both WJ latitude and/or the meandering path shifts over East Asia and solar activity change, suggesting that a decrease/increase in solar irradiance is related to AL variability via interactions with the WJ.

Research Article
Copyright © University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2021

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