Phase speed spectra and the recent poleward shift of Southern Hemisphere surface westerlies



[1] The poleward shift of the Southern Hemisphere surface westerlies in recent decades is examined in reanalysis data and in the output of coupled atmosphere-ocean and uncoupled atmospheric models. The space-time spectra of the eddy momentum fluxes in the upper troposphere reveal a trend that marks an increase in the eastward phase speed of the tropospheric eddies accompanied by a poleward displacement of the region of wave breaking in the subtropics. A dynamical mechanism is suggested that may help explain the connections among the lower stratospheric wind anomalies, the increased eastward propagation of tropospheric eddies and the poleward shift of the tropospheric circulation.