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Tropospheric Response to Stratospheric Perturbations in a Relatively Simple General Circulation Model

Polvani, Lorenzo M.; Kushner, Paul J.

The sensitivity of the tropospheric extratropical circulation to thermal perturbations of the polar stratosphere is examined in a dry primitive equation general circulation model with zonally symmetric forcing and boundary conditions. For sufficiently strong cooling of the polar winter stratosphere, the winter-hemisphere tropospheric jet shifts polewards and strengthens markedly at the surface; this is accompanied by a drop in surface pressure at high latitudes in the same hemisphere. In addition, this extratropical tropospheric response is found to be very similar to the model's leading pattern of internal variability. These results are tested for robustness at several horizontal and vertical resolutions, and the same tropospheric response is observed at all but the lowest resolution tested. The behavior of this relatively simple model is broadly consistent with recent observational and modeling studies of trends in extratropical atmospheric variability.


Also Published In

Geophysical Research Letters