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Item #d95feb9

Three related items in Science, 266(5185), Oct. 28 (see related NEWS article, this issue):

"Did the Tropical Pacific Drive the World's Warming?" R.A. Kerr, 544-545. A research news discussion of the following two papers and two related studies published elsewhere recently.

"Simulations of Atmospheric Variability Induced by Sea Surface Temperatures and Implications for Global Warming," A. Kumar (NMC, 5200 Auth Rd., Camp Springs MD 20746), A. Leetmaa, M. Ji, 632-634. An atmospheric GCM was forced with observed interannual changes in global sea surface temperatures for the period 1982-93. Simulated air temperature patterns over land areas resembled observed patterns including those associated with El NiƱo events, suggesting that air-sea interactions resulting from the recently more persistent warm oceanic conditions in the tropics contributed to the observed global warming trend during the period.

"Causes of Decadal Climate Variability over the North Pacific and North America," M. Latif (M. Planck Inst. Meteor., Bundestr. 55, D-20146 Hamburg, Ger.), T.P. Barnett, 634-637. A multidecadal simulation with a coupled ocean-atmosphere model and observations shows that about one-third of the low-frequency climate variability in the region results from a cycle involving the subtropical gyre circulation in the North Pacific and the Aleutian low-pressure system. Results provide a basis for long-range climate forecasting over the western U.S. at decadal time scales.

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