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Influence of Anthropogenic Climate Change on Planetary Wave Resonance and Extreme Weather Events

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Influence of Anthropogenic Climate Change on Planetary Wave Resonance and Extreme Weather Events

Michael E Mann et al. Sci Rep.

Erratum in

Abstract

Persistent episodes of extreme weather in the Northern Hemisphere summer have been shown to be associated with the presence of high-amplitude quasi-stationary atmospheric Rossby waves within a particular wavelength range (zonal wavenumber 6-8). The underlying mechanistic relationship involves the phenomenon of quasi-resonant amplification (QRA) of synoptic-scale waves with that wavenumber range becoming trapped within an effective mid-latitude atmospheric waveguide. Recent work suggests an increase in recent decades in the occurrence of QRA-favorable conditions and associated extreme weather, possibly linked to amplified Arctic warming and thus a climate change influence. Here, we isolate a specific fingerprint in the zonal mean surface temperature profile that is associated with QRA-favorable conditions. State-of-the-art ("CMIP5") historical climate model simulations subject to anthropogenic forcing display an increase in the projection of this fingerprint that is mirrored in multiple observational surface temperature datasets. Both the models and observations suggest this signal has only recently emerged from the background noise of natural variability.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1. Boreal Summer (JJA) Zonal Mean Temperature Profiles.
Shown are (a) JJA 1000 mb temperatures from ERA reanalysis data (1979–2015) for both climatological mean and QRA-favorable conditions (at 2.5° latitudinal resolution), (b) The difference between the two i.e. the anomalous zonal mean temperature profile associated with QRA-favorable conditions, (c) The QRA fingerprint defined as the former quantity, confined to the extatropical region 25–75N, centered on zero, and interpolated onto 5° latitudinal grid commensurate with model simultions, and (d) the associated meridional temperature gradient.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Zonal mean temperatures for 5 degree bands from 25–75N in the CMIP5 historical simulations.
Shown are the multimodel means for the (a) all-forcing and (b) anthropogenic-only simulations. Rainbow scale is used to denote increasing latitude from 25N (violet) to 75N (red). The extratropical 25–75N mean series is shown for comparison (black). Shown also for both the (c) all-forcing and (d) anthropogenic-only simulations is the extratropical mean series for each member of the multimodel ensemble (colored curves) along with the multimodel mean (black) series.
Figure 3
Figure 3. QRA Fingerprint Series.
Shown for both the (a) all-forcing and (b) anthropogenic-only simulations is the QRA series for each member of the multimodel ensemble (colored curves) along with the multimodel mean (black) series. The corresponding multimodel mean QRA series are shown along with the exatropical mean temperatures series for the (c) all forcing and (d) anthropogenic-only simulations, along with the linear trend over 1970–2005 (red line).
Figure 4
Figure 4. Projection of QRA Fingerprint Series onto 300 mb Zonal Wind (U) in individual CMIP5 historical Simulations (colored curves) and averaged over ensemble (black).
Shown are results for (a) all-forcing and (b) anthropogenic-only forcing experiments.
Figure 5
Figure 5. Observational Series.
Shown are the zonal mean temperatures for 5 degree bands from 25–75N (colors—same conventions as in Fig. 2a) and the extratropical 2–75N mean series (black) for (a) GISTEMP, (b) HadCRUT4, and (c) Cowtan & Way instrumental temperature series. Shown are the corresponding QRA fingerprint series (df) along with linear trend from 1970–2015 (black dashed).

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