4 maps from the paper displaying data.
(Left panels) Composites of surface temperature (colors) and sea level pressure anomalies (contours, with 1 hectopascal increments) for strong stratospheric wave events in ERA5 reanalysis data. Composites are calculated for 15-day averages prior to and following the stratospheric maximum wave amplitude (top, bottom respectively). (Right panels) Corresponding composites of atmospheric river (AR) occurrence frequency anomalies (colors). Solid contours denote regions where climatological AR frequency exceeds 10%. Credit: Ding et al. [2023], Figure 4
Editors’ Highlights are summaries of recent papers by AGU’s journal editors.
Source: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Extreme stratospheric wave activity during winter can exhibit downward coupling to the troposphere, extending to the surface. In a new study, Ding et al. [2023] quantify the impacts of strong stratospheric wave events on surface temperature and pressure over North America, and their influences on ‘atmospheric rivers’ (AR) that transport extreme amounts of water to the west coast of the United States. This is the first work to identify stratospheric influences on AR.

The authors find that these weather and circulation changes are linked to the vertical coupling of planetary waves between the troposphere and stratosphere. Their research further examines the behavior of stratosphere-troposphere coupling in state-of-the-art climate models from CMIP6. While some models capture realistic coupling behavior, models with a degraded representation of stratospheric wave structures exhibit systematic tropospheric biases during strong wave events. These findings encourage improved representation of the stratosphere in climate models.

Citation: Ding, X., Chen, G., & Ma, W. (2023). Stratosphere-troposphere coupling of extreme stratospheric wave activity in CMIP6 models. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 128, e2023JD038811. https://doi.org/10.1029/2023JD038811

—William J. Randel, Editor, JGR: Atmospheres

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