The influence of Arctic amplification on mid-latitude summer circulation

D. Coumou, G. Di Capua, S. Vavrus, L. Wang, S. Wang

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Accelerated warming in the Arctic, as compared to the rest of the globe, might have profound impacts on mid-latitude weather. Most studies analyzing Arctic links to mid-latitude weather focused on winter, yet recent summers have seen strong reductions in sea-ice extent and snow cover, a weakened equator-to-pole thermal gradient and associated weakening of the mid-latitude circulation. We review the scientific evidence behind three leading hypotheses on the influence of Arctic changes on mid-latitude summer weather: Weakened storm tracks, shifted jet streams, and amplified quasi-stationary waves. We show that interactions between Arctic teleconnections and other remote and regional feedback processes could lead to more persistent hot-dry extremes in the mid-latitudes. The exact nature of these non-linear interactions is not well quantified but they provide potential high-impact risks for society.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2959
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalNature Communications
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2018

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Sea ice
Weather
Snow
Thermal gradients
summer
Amplification
Poles
Feedback
weather
Ice Cover
snow cover
Hot Temperature
globes
sea ice
equators
winter
poles
interactions
gradients
heating

Cite this

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The influence of Arctic amplification on mid-latitude summer circulation. / Coumou, D.; Di Capua, G.; Vavrus, S.; Wang, L.; Wang, S.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 9, 2959, 20.08.2018, p. 1-12.

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Di Capua, G.

AU - Vavrus, S.

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AU - Wang, S.

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N2 - Accelerated warming in the Arctic, as compared to the rest of the globe, might have profound impacts on mid-latitude weather. Most studies analyzing Arctic links to mid-latitude weather focused on winter, yet recent summers have seen strong reductions in sea-ice extent and snow cover, a weakened equator-to-pole thermal gradient and associated weakening of the mid-latitude circulation. We review the scientific evidence behind three leading hypotheses on the influence of Arctic changes on mid-latitude summer weather: Weakened storm tracks, shifted jet streams, and amplified quasi-stationary waves. We show that interactions between Arctic teleconnections and other remote and regional feedback processes could lead to more persistent hot-dry extremes in the mid-latitudes. The exact nature of these non-linear interactions is not well quantified but they provide potential high-impact risks for society.

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