Map of northern Eurasia showing long-term trend of wintertime Turbulence Index 1
The long-term trend of wintertime Turbulence Index 1 (Unit: 10-5 /s2/decade) as observed from ERA5 reanalysis between 200 hPa and 300 hPa in northern Eurasia over the period 1980–2019. Stippling regions indicate the trends that are statistically significant (P-value <0.10). Credit: Lv et al. [2021], Figure 4
Source: Earth and Space Science

Upper-air turbulence is recognized to have significant influences on both aviation safety and mass exchanges between upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. Nevertheless, how the turbulence evolves over time in the Eurasian region, one of the places where anthropogenic activities are most intensive on the Earth, remains unresolved.

Lv et al. [2021] suggest that the turbulence in the upper atmosphere in northern Eurasia in winter exhibits a significant, increasing trend under global warming for the period of 1980-2019. They attribute this trend to the enhanced wind shear around upper-air westerly jet stream, an important source of turbulence. The increasing wind shear is found closely associated with stronger meridional temperature gradient in mid-latitudes of Eurasia. Also, they projected that the turbulence would continue its increasing tendency in the future based on multiple CMIP6 models.

The finding of this study has significant implications for the projection of occurrence of turbulence under global warming over the mid-latitude regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Citation: Lv, Y., Guo, J., Li, J., Han, Y., Xu, H., Guo, X., et al. [2021]. Increased turbulence in the Eurasian upper‐level jet stream in winter: past and future. Earth and Space Science, 8, e2020EA001556.

―Jonathan H. Jiang, Editor, Earth and Space Science

Text © 2021. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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