Department of Statistics Unitmark
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Trends in the Surface Meridional Temperature Gradient

Publication Date

April, 1997

Publication Type

Tech Report


Alix I. Gitelman, James S. Risbey, Robert E. Kass, and Richard D. Rosen


Given the presence of a meridional temperature gradient (MTG) across midlatitudes, large-scale eddies transport heat poleward, thereby shaping Earth's climate. Defining an MTG index here as the difference in surface temperature between the 30-35N belt and the 50-55N belt, we use a temperature record compiled from observations over a 110-year period to determine a trend in the MTG in the last century. We find a significant decreasing trend in the MTG over this period of 0.4\(\pm\)0.1C per 100 years, along with indications of substantial multidecadal variability.