Climate change in the Kola Peninsula, Arctic Russia, during the last 50 years from meteorological observations
The authors provide a detailed climatology and evaluation of recent climate change in the Kola Peninsula, Arctic Russia, a region influenced by both the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. The analysis is based on 50 years of monthly surface air temperature (SAT), precipitation (PPN), and sea level pressure (SLP) data from 10 meteorological stations for 1966–2015. Regional mean annual SAT is ~0°C: the moderating effect of the ocean is such that coastal (inland) stations have a positive (negative) value. Examined mean annual PPN totals rise from ~430 mm in the northeast of the region to ~600 mm in the west. Annual SAT in the Kola Peninsula has increased by 2.3° ± 1.0°C over the past 50 years. Seasonally, statistically significant warming has taken place in spring and fall, although the largest trend has occurred in winter. Although there has been no significant change in annual PPN, spring has become significantly wetter and fall drier. The former is associated with the only significant seasonal SLP trend (decrease). A positive winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index is generally associated with a warmer and wetter Kola Peninsula whereas a positive Siberian high (SH) index has the opposite impact. The relationship between both the NAO and SH and the SAT is broadly coherent across the region whereas their relationship with PPN varies markedly, although none of the relationships is temporally invariant. Reduced sea ice in the Barents and White Seas and associated circulation changes are likely to be the principal drivers behind the observed changes.