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  1. Abstract

    While a poleward shift of the near-surface jet and storm track in response to increased greenhouse gases appears to be robust, the magnitude of this change is uncertain and differs across models, and the mechanisms for this change are poorly constrained. An intermediate complexity GCM is used in this study to explore the factors governing the magnitude of the poleward shift and the mechanisms involved. The degree to which parameterized subgrid-scale convection is inhibited has a leading-order effect on the poleward shift, with a simulation with more convection (and less large-scale precipitation) simulating a significantly weaker shift, and eventually no shift at all if convection is strongly preferred over large-scale precipitation. Many of the physical processes proposed to drive the poleward shift are equally active in all simulations (even those with no poleward shift). Hence, we can conclude that these mechanisms are not of leading-order significance for the poleward shift in any of the simulations. The thermodynamic budget, however, provides useful insight into differences in the jet and storm track response among the simulations. It helps identify midlatitude moisture and latent heat release as a crucial differentiator. These results have implications for intermodel spread in the jet, hydrological cycle, and storm track response to increased greenhouse gases in intermodel comparison projects.

     
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