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Why is Temperature Seasonality Diminishing in the North?

Land warms and cools faster than oceans because land has low specific heat than water. That is why warming of the past 40+ years is more pronounced on land than on oceans. Warming in the North, both on land and oceans, is more pronounced than elsewhere because of a positive feedback associated with decline of snow cover and sea ice extents.

All of this results in different rates at which the Northern lands warm during the four seasons. The summertime warming is lower than during either of the transitional seasons (spring and autumn) and especially winter (figure to the left; the 2091 to 2099 projection is based on a state-of-the-art coupled climate model).

Therefore, temperature seasonality is diminishing in the North. This is illustrated below using the conventional (below left) and the new definition (below right) of temperature seasonality introduced in our article.


Larger version of this figure

Larger version of this figure
Climate and Vegetation Research Group
Dept. of Geography,Boston University. XXX-XX-2013