Dependence of Arctic climate on the latitudinal position of stationary waves and to high-latitudes surface warming
Previous studies suggest large uncertainties in the stationary wave response under global warming. Here, we investigate how the Arctic climate responds to changes in the latitudinal position of stationary waves, and to high-latitudes surface warming that mimics the effect of Arctic sea ice loss under global warming. To generate stationary waves in an atmospheric model coupled to slab ocean, a series of experiments is performed where the thermal forcing with a zonal wavenumber-2 (with zero zonal-mean) is prescribed at the surface at different latitude bands in the Northern Hemisphere. When the stationary waves are generated in the subtropics, the cooling response dominates over the warming response in the lower troposphere due to cloud radiative effects. Then, the low-level baroclinicity is reduced in the subtropics, which gives rise to a poleward shift of the eddy driven jet, thereby inducing substantial cooling in the northern high latitudes. As the stationary waves are progressively generated at higher latitudes, the zonal-mean climate state gradually becomes more similar to the integration with no stationary waves. These differences in the mean climate affect the Arctic climate response to high-latitudes surface warming. Additional surface heating over the Arctic is imposed to the reference climates in which the stationary waves are located at different latitude bands. When the stationary waves are positioned at lower latitudes, the eddy driven jet is located at higher latitude, closer to the prescribed Arctic heating. As baroclinicity is more effectively perturbed, the jet shifts more equatorward that accompanies a larger reduction in the poleward eddy transport of heat and momentum. A stronger eddy-induced descending motion creates greater warming over the Arctic. Our study calls for a more accurate simulation of the present-day stationary wave pattern to enhance the predictability of the Arctic warming response in a changing climate.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-017-3543-y
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