Publications associated with Atmospheric Dynamics

Eddy-driven jet sensitivity to diabatic heating in an idealized GCM

Journal of Climate American Meteorological Society 30 (2017) 6413-6431

H Baker, T Woollings, C Mbengue

The eddy-driven jet is studied using a dry idealized model to determine its sensitivity to thermal forcings. The jet latitude, speed and variability are investigated under a series of Gaussian patch thermal forcing simulations applied systematically on a latitude-sigma grid in the troposphere. This work builds on previous studies by isolating the responses of the jet speed and latitude as opposed to combining them into a single annular mode index. It also explores the sensitivity of the jet to much smaller spatial heatings rather than applying forcing patterns to simulate anthropogenic climate change, as the size and magnitude of the forcings due to anthropogenic climate change are uncertain. The jet speed and latitude are found to have different sensitivity distributions from each other, which also vary between summer and winter. A simple mechanistic understanding of these sensitivities is presented by considering how the individual thermal forcings modify mean isentropic surfaces. In the cases analysed, the jet response to forcing scales approximately linearly with the strength of the forcing, and when forcings are applied in combination. The findings show a rich latitude-pressure distribution of jet sensitivities to thermal forcings, which will aid interpretation of jet responses in a changing climate. Furthermore, they highlight the areas where uncertainty needs to be reduced in the size and position of expected anthropogenic forcings, in order that the uncertainty in changes of the eddy-driven jet can be reduced.

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