skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, June 13 until 2:00 AM ET on Friday, June 14 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Title: Regional Characteristics of Variability in the Northern Hemisphere Wintertime Polar Front Jet and Subtropical Jet in Observations and CMIP6 Models
Abstract

Variability in the position and strength of the subtropical jet (STJ) and polar front jet (PFJ) streams has important implications for global and regional climate. Previous studies have related the position and strength of the STJ to tropical thermodynamic processes, whereas the position and strength of the PFJ are more associated with midlatitude eddies. These conclusions have largely resulted from studies using idealized models. In this study, ERA‐Interim reanalysis and CMIP6 global climate models are used to examine month‐to‐month and interannual variability of the wintertime Northern Hemisphere (NH) STJ and PFJ. This study particularly focuses on the regional characteristics of the jet variability, extending previous studies on zonal‐mean jet streams. Consistent with idealized modeling studies, a close relationship is found between tropical outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) and the STJ and between midlatitude lower tropospheric temperature gradients and the PFJ. Variations of both jets are also linked to well‐known teleconnection patterns. Variations in tropical convection over the Pacific Ocean are associated with variations of the NH STJ at most longitudes, with different phases of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) associated with the shift and strengthening of the STJ in different regions. CMIP6 models generally capture these relationships, but the models’ tropical convection is often displaced westward when compared to observations, reflecting a climatological bias in OLR in the western tropical Pacific Ocean in many models. The displaced tropical convection in models excites different paths of Rossby wave propagation, resulting in different ENSO teleconnections on the STJ over North America and Europe.

 
more » « less
Award ID(s):
1752900
NSF-PAR ID:
10397165
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Volume:
126
Issue:
22
ISSN:
2169-897X
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract The relationship of upper tropospheric jet variability to El Niño / Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in reanalysis datasets is analyzed for 1979–2018, revealing robust regional and seasonal variability. Tropical jets associated with monsoons and the Walker circulation are weaker and the zonal mean subtropical jet shifts equatorward in both hemispheres during El Niño, consistent with previous findings. Regional and seasonal variations are analyzed separately for subtropical and polar jets. The subtropical jet shifts poleward during El Niño over the NH eastern Pacific in DJF, and in some SH regions in MAMand SON. Subtropical jet altitudes increase during El Niño, with significant changes in the zonal mean in the NH and during summer/fall in the SH. Though zonal mean polar jet correlations with ENSO are rarely significant, robust regional/seasonal changes occur: The SH polar jet shifts equatorward during El Niño over Asia and the western Pacific in DJF, and poleward over the eastern Pacific in JJA and SON. Polar jets are weaker (stronger) during El Niño in the western (eastern) hemisphere, especially in the SH; conversely, subtropical jets are stronger (weaker) in the western (eastern) hemisphere during El Niño in winter and spring; these opposing changes, along with an anticorrelation between subtropical and polar jet windspeed, reinforce subtropical/polar jet strength differences during El Niño, and suggest ENSO-related covariability of the jets. ENSO-related jet latitude, altitude, and windspeed changes can reach 4(3)°, 0.6(0.3) km, and 6(3) ms −1 , respectively, for the subtropical (polar) jets. 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract Interannual variability of tropospheric moisture and temperature are key aspects of Earth’s climate. In this study, monthly mean specific humidity ( q ) and temperature ( T ) variability is analyzed using 12 years of COSMIC-1 (C1) radio occultation retrievals between 60°N and 60°S, with a focus on the tropics. C1 retrievals are relatively independent of the a priori values for q and T within the lower/middle troposphere and upper troposphere/lower stratosphere, respectively. Tropical interannual variability is dominated by El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Systematic increases and decreases in zonal mean q and T are observed during the 2009/10 and 2015/16 El Niño events and 2007/08 and 2010/11 La Niña events, respectively. ENSO patterns in q and T are isolated using linear regression, and anomaly magnitudes increase with altitude, reaching a maximum in the upper troposphere. Upper-tropospheric q anomalies expand from the tropics into the midlatitude lower stratosphere, and the T vertical structure is consistent with a moist adiabatic response. C1 results are compared with NCAR’s Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM), forced by observed sea surface temperatures, to evaluate model behavior in an idealized setting. WACCM ENSO variations in q and T generally show consistent behavior with C1 with somewhat smaller magnitudes. Case studies are conducted for major ENSO events during the study period. The spatial variability of q is closely aligned with outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) anomalies. For example, midtropospheric q increases over 100% and OLR decreases over 50 W m −2 over the central Pacific during the 2015/16 El Niño, and substantial regional q and T anomalies are observed throughout the tropics and midlatitudes for each event. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Atmospheric angular momentum (AAM) is used to study the variability of Earth’s atmospheric circulation during the past 45 years, a time of considerable climate change. Using global AAM, two interdecadal states are defined covering the periods 1977–98 (hereinafter P1) and 1999–2022 (P2). Global AAM decreased from P1 to P2 and was accompanied by weakened subtropical jet streams in both hemispheres, strong convection around the northern Maritime Continent, and a strengthened sea surface temperature (SST) gradient across the tropical Pacific Ocean. The period differences project onto 1) internal interdecadal Pacific variability (IPV), 2) a postulated transient ocean thermostat response to greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions, and 3) circulation anomalies related to the ozone hole. During 1977–2023, the first two processes are forcing the climate toward larger Pacific Ocean SST gradients and a poleward expansion of the Indo-Pacific warm pool (IPWP), especially into the Northern Hemisphere. The ozone hole produces its own distinct pattern of anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere that tend to become persistent in the early 1990s. The zonal and vertical mean AAM variations during P1 have frequent westerly wind anomalies between 40°N and 40°S with poleward propagation on interannual time scales. During P2, the circulation is dominated by subtropical easterly wind anomalies, poleward-shifted jets, and weaker propagation. Locally, the zonal mean anomalies manifest as midlatitude ridges that lead to continental droughts. Case studies illustrate the weakened subtropical jet streams of P2 and examine the factors behind a transition to La Niña in early 2020 that maintains the P2 pattern.

     
    more » « less
  4. null (Ed.)
    Abstract The Southern Hemisphere summertime eddy-driven jet and storm tracks have shifted poleward over the recent few decades. In previous studies, explanations have mainly stressed the influence of external forcing in driving this trend. Here we examine the role of internal tropical SST variability in controlling the austral summer jet’s poleward migration, with a focus on interdecadal time scales. The role of external forcing and internal variability are isolated by using a hierarchy of Community Earth System Model version 1 (CESM1) simulations, including the pre-industrial control, large ensemble, and pacemaker runs. Model simulations suggest that in the early twenty-first century, both external forcing and internal tropical Pacific SST variability are important in driving a positive southern annular mode (SAM) phase and a poleward migration of the eddy-driven jet. Tropical Pacific SST variability, associated with the negative phase of the interdecadal Pacific oscillation (IPO), acts to shift the jet poleward over the southern Indian and southwestern Pacific Oceans and intensify the jet in the southeastern Pacific basin, while external forcing drives a significant poleward jet shift in the South Atlantic basin. In response to both external forcing and decadal Pacific SST variability, the transient eddy momentum flux convergence belt in the middle latitudes experiences a poleward migration due to the enhanced meridional temperature gradient, leading to a zonally symmetric southward migration of the eddy-driven jet. This mechanism distinguishes the influence of the IPO on the midlatitude circulation from the dynamical impact of ENSO, with the latter mainly promoting the subtropical wave-breaking critical latitude poleward and pushing the midlatitude jet to higher latitudes. 
    more » « less
  5. null (Ed.)
    Abstract An effective method to understand cloud processes and to assess the fidelity with which they are represented in climate models is the cloud controlling factor framework, in which cloud properties are linked with variations in large-scale dynamical and thermodynamical variables. This study examines how midlatitude cloud radiative effects (CRE) over oceans co-vary with four cloud controlling factors: mid-tropospheric vertical velocity, estimated inversion strength (EIS), near-surface temperature advection, and sea surface temperature (SST), and assesses their representation in CMIP6 models with respect to observations and CMIP5 models. CMIP5 and CMIP6 models overestimate the sensitivity of midlatitude CRE to perturbations in vertical velocity, and underestimate the sensitivity of midlatitude shortwave CRE to perturbations in EIS and temperature advection. The largest improvement in CMIP6 models is a reduced sensitivity of CRE to vertical velocity perturbations. As in CMIP5 models, many CMIP6 models simulate a shortwave cloud radiative warming effect associated with a poleward shift in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) midlatitude jet stream, an effect not present in observations. This bias arises because most models’ shortwave CRE are too sensitive to vertical velocity perturbations and not sensitive enough to EIS perturbations, and because most models overestimate the SST anomalies associated with SH jet shifts. The presence of this bias directly impacts the transient surface temperature response to increasing greenhouse gases over the Southern Ocean, but not the global-mean surface temperature. Instead, the models’ climate sensitivity is correlated with their shortwave CRE sensitivity to surface temperature advection perturbations near 40°S, with models with more realistic values of temperature advection sensitivity generally having higher climate sensitivity. 
    more » « less