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Publication Date
14 March 2023

Future Atmospheric Rivers and Impacts on Precipitation: Overview of the ARTMIP Tier 2 High‐Resolution Global Warming Experiment



Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are long, narrow synoptic scale weather features important for Earth’s hydrological cycle typically transporting water vapor poleward, delivering precipitation important for local climates. Understanding ARs in a warming climate is problematic because the AR response to climate change is tied to how the feature is defined. The Atmospheric River Tracking Method Intercomparison Project (ARTMIP) provides insights into this problem by comparing 16 atmospheric river detection tools (ARDTs) to a common data set consisting of high resolution climate change simulations from a global atmospheric general circulation model. ARDTs mostly show increases in frequency and intensity, but the scale of the response is largely dependent on algorithmic criteria. Across ARDTs, bulk characteristics suggest intensity and spatial footprint are inversely correlated, and most focus regions experience increases in precipitation volume coming from extreme ARs. The spread of the AR precipitation response under climate change is large and dependent on ARDT selection. 

Shields, Christine A., Ashley E. Payne, Eric Jay Shearer, Michael F. Wehner, Travis Allen O’Brien, Jonathan J. Rutz, L. Ruby Leung, et al. 2023. “Future Atmospheric Rivers And Impacts On Precipitation: Overview Of The Artmip Tier 2 High‐Resolution Global Warming Experiment”. Geophysical Research Letters 50 (6). American Geophysical Union (AGU). doi:10.1029/2022gl102091.
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