Trends in the Surface Meridional Temperature Gradient

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 --N belt and the --N 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 C per 100 years, along with indications of substantial multidecadal variability.

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