The influence of Arctic amplification on mid-latitude summer circulation

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

*Corresponding author for this work

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

Funding

This work was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), grant 01LP1611A (G.D.C. and D.C.) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), grant 016.Vidi.171011 (D.C.). S.W. is supported by the the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research program (BER) grant DESC0016605 and the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, Utah State University, with partial support from the Central Weather Bureau of Taiwan. Further support was provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation, grants PLR-1304398 and AGS-1640452 (S.V.). L.W. was supported by NASA grant 80NSSC17K0267, NSF grant AGS-1552385, and a grant from the Harvard Global Institute.

FundersFunder number
National Science FoundationAGS-1552385, PLR-1304398, AGS-1640452
Directorate for Geosciences1304398
National Aeronautics and Space Administration80NSSC17K0267
Office of Science
Biological and Environmental ResearchDESC0016605
Utah State University
Utah Agricultural Experiment Station
Harvard Global Institute
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung01LP1611A
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek016

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