Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2016, Vol. 8 ›› Issue (6): 524-535.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00524

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Interdecadal correlation of solar activity with Tibetan Plateau snow depth and winter atmospheric circulation in East Asia

ZhiCai Li1, Yan Song2, Wei Zhang3, Jing Zhang4, ZiNiu Xiao5   

  1. 1. Shanxi Climate Centre, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030006, China;
    2. China Meteorological Administration Training Centre, Beijing 100081, China;
    3. FangShan District Meteorological Service, Beijing 102488, China;
    4. Zoology and Agricultural Meteorological Centre of Shenyang Meteorological Administration, Shenyang, Liaoning 110168, China;
    5. Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • Received:2016-03-22 Revised:2016-10-12 Published:2018-11-23
  • Contact: Yan Song, China Meteorological Administration Training Centre. No. 46, Zhongguancun Nandajie, Haidian District, Beijing 100081, China. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    The authors thank Dr. XueBin Zhang from Canada, for his help with the statistical significance test; Dr. HaoMing Yan from the State Key Laboratory of Geodesy and Earth's Dynamics of China, for help with the Monte-Carlo method; Dr. ZhiQiang Yin from National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Science, for supporting us with the TSI reconstruction data; and Dr. Lan Yi from Chinese Meteorological Society for valuable comments and discussions. This research was funded by the National Science Foundation of China (No. 41575091) and the National Basic Research and Development (973) Program of China (Grant No. 2012CB957803 and No. 2012CB957804).

Abstract: Studies on the impact of solar activity on climate system are very important in understanding global climate change. Previous studies in this field were mostly focus on temperature, wind and geopotential height. In this paper, interdecadal correlations of solar activity with Winter Snow Depth Index (WSDI) over the Tibetan Plateau, Arctic Oscillation Index (AOI) and the East Asian Winter Monsoon Index (EAWMI) are detected respectively by using Solar Radio Flux (SRF), Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) and Solar Sunspot Number (SSN) data and statistical methods. Arctic Oscillation and East Asian winter monsoon are typical modes of the East Asian atmospheric circulation. Research results show that on interdecadal time scale over 11-year solar cycle, the sun modulated changes of winter snow depth over the Tibetan Plateau and East Asian atmospheric circulation. At the fourth lag year, the correlation coefficient of SRF and snow depth is 0.8013 at 0.05 significance level by Monte-Carlo test method. Our study also shows that winter snow depth over the Tibetan Plateau has significant lead and lag correlations with Arctic Oscillation and the East Asian winter monsoon on long time scale. With more snow in winter, the phase of Arctic Oscillation is positive, and East Asian winter monsoon is weak, while with less snow, the parameters are reversed. An example is the winter of 2012/2013, with decreased Tibetan Plateau snow, phase of Arctic Oscillation was negative, and East Asian winter monsoon was strong.

Key words: solar activity, interdecadal correlation analysis, snow depth over the Tibetan Plateau, Arctic Oscillation (AO), East Asian Winter Monsoon

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