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Title: Response of Meridional Wind to Greenhouse Gas Forcing, Arctic Sea-Ice Loss, and Arctic Amplification
Abstract Under increasing greenhouse gases, the Arctic warms about twice as fast as elsewhere, known as Arctic amplification (AA). AA weakens meridional temperature gradients and is hypothesized to weaken zonal wind and cause wavier circulation with stronger meridional wind ( υ ) over northern mid-to-high latitudes. Here model simulations are analyzed to examine the υ response to increased CO 2 and AA alone. Total υ changes are found to be dominated by the effect of increased CO 2 without AA, with a zonal wavenumber-4 (wavenumber-3) change pattern over the northern (southern) extratropics that generally enhances current υ and results partly from changes in zonal temperature gradients. The extratropical υ change patterns are quasi-barotropic and are more pronounced during boreal winter. The CO 2 forcing also causes baroclinic υ changes over the tropics tied to convection changes. The impact of AA on υ is mainly over the northern extratropics and is opposite to the effect of increased CO 2 but with smaller magnitude. An eastward shift (∼5° longitude) and an amplitude increase (∼1 m s −1 ) in the climatology of the northerlies over Europe caused mainly by CO 2 forcing contribute to the drying in southern Europe, while both AA and CO 2 forcing enhance the climatology of the northerlies over East Asia. Over the northern mid-to-high latitudes, Arctic sea ice loss and AA enhance the land–ocean thermal contrast in winter, while increased CO 2 alone weakens it, resulting in opposite changes in zonal temperature gradients and thus υ . Different warming rates over land and ocean also contribute to the intermodel spread in υ response patterns among climate models. Significance Statement Meridional wind ( υ ) greatly contributes to thermal and moisture advection due to large meridional gradients in these fields. It is hypothesized that the enhanced Arctic warming under anthropogenic global warming could weaken meridional temperature gradients, decelerate westerly jets, and cause wavier circulation with stronger υ over northern extratropics. Using novel climate model simulations, we found that the effect of increased CO 2 without AA determines the total υ changes. AA generally weakens the climatological υ , contrary to the direct effect of increased CO 2 . The υ changes are small relative to its climatology but may have large impacts on regional climate over central Europe, East Asia, and interior North America. More research is needed to examine the mechanisms causing regional υ changes.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2015780 1743738
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Climate
Page Range / eLocation ID:
7275 to 7297
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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