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High Latitude Atmospheric Rivers: Teleconnections and Impacts

Presentation Date
Friday, December 16, 2022 at 11:35am - Friday, December 16, 2022 at 11:46am
McCormick Place - S504abc



Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are long, narrow synoptic scale features that act as moisture transport vehicles by moving water vapor poleward. They are typically found in storm tracks and often have profound implications for regional hydroclimate. For high latitude locales such as Antarctica and the Arctic, ARs are fewer in number but often have an outsized impact by either producing significant snow accumulation events, or, depending on their thermal characteristics, initiating melt events on ice sheets, ice shelves, and sea ice.

In this study, we apply both reanalysis and climate model data to evaluate high latitude ARs for the Arctic and Antarctic in the context of teleconnections and modes of variability. Specifically, we fold in both MERRA-2 and ERA5 reanalysis as well as historical and climate change simulations from the CESM2 (Community Earth System Model, Version 2) and E3SMv2 (Energy Exascale Earth System Model, v2) with multiple ensemble members to better understand natural variability versus climate change signals. An overview of AR climatology and impacts will be presented, including a baseline uncertainty quantification analysis using data from ARTMIP (the Atmospheric River Tracking Method Intercomparison Project). AR impacts during specific modes of variability will be characterized by diagnosing precipitation and boundary layer temperature associated with ARs influencing the cryosphere. Modes of variability investigated include the SAM (Southern Annular Mode), PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation), PSA2 (Pacific South American Mode 2), the IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole), and the AO (Arctic Oscillation).

Funding Program Area(s)