Arctic amplification has been attributed predominantly to a positive lapse rate feedback in winter, when boundary layer temperature inversions focus warming near the surface. Predicting high-latitude climate change effectively thus requires identifying the local and remote physical processes that set the Arctic’s vertical warming structure. In this study, we analyze output from the CESM Large Ensemble’s twenty-first-century climate change projection to diagnose the relative influence of two Arctic heating sources, local sea ice loss and remote changes in atmospheric heat transport. Causal effects are quantified with a statistical inference method, allowing us to assess the energetic pathways mediating the Arctic temperature response and the role of internal variability across the ensemble. We find that a step-increase in latent heat flux convergence causes Arctic lower-tropospheric warming in all seasons, while additionally reducing net longwave cooling at the surface. However, these effects only lead to small and short-lived changes in boundary layer inversion strength. By contrast, a step-decrease in sea ice extent in the melt season causes, in fall and winter, surface-amplified warming and weakened boundary layer temperature inversions. Sea ice loss also enhances surface turbulent heat fluxes and cloud-driven condensational heating, which mediate the atmospheric temperature response. While the aggregatemore »
Southern hemisphere subtropical anticyclones are projected to change in a warmer climate during both austral summer and winter. A recent study of CMIP 5 & 6 projections found a combination of local diabatic heating changes and static-stability-induced changes in baroclinic eddy growth as the dominant drivers. Yet the underlying mechanisms forcing these changes still remain uninvestigated. This study aims to enhance our mechanistic understanding of what drives these Southern Hemisphere anticyclones changes during both seasons. Using an AGCM, we decompose the response to CO2-induced warming into two components: (1) the fast atmospheric response to direct CO2radiative forcing, and (2) the slow atmospheric response due to indirect sea surface temperature warming. Additionally, we isolate the influence of tropical diabatic heating with AGCM added heating experiments. As a complement to our numerical AGCM experiments, we analyze the Atmospheric and Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project experiments. Results from sensitivity experiments show that slow subtropical sea surface temperature warming primarily forces the projected changes in subtropical anticyclones through baroclinicity change. Fast CO2atmospheric radiative forcing on the other hand plays a secondary role, with the most notable exception being the South Atlantic subtropical anticyclone in austral winter, where it opposes the forcing by sea more »
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Climate Dynamics
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- p. 2333-2350
- Springer Science + Business Media
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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