Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

CMIP5 multimodel ensemble projection of storm track change under global warming

Authors

  • Edmund K. M. Chang,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York, USA
      Corresponding author: E. K. M. Chang, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5000, USA.
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  • Yanjuan Guo,

    1. Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Xiaoming Xia

    1. School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York, USA
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Corresponding author: E. K. M. Chang, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5000, USA.

Abstract

[1] CMIP5 multimodel ensemble projection of midlatitude storm track changes has been examined. Storm track activity is quantified by temporal variance of meridional wind and sea level pressure (psl), as well as cyclone track statistics. For the Southern Hemisphere (SH), CMIP5 models project clear poleward migration, upward expansion, and intensification of the storm track. For the Northern Hemisphere (NH), the models also project some poleward shift and upward expansion of the storm track in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere, but mainly weakening of the storm track toward its equatorward flank in the troposphere. Consistent with these, CMIP5 models project significant increase in the frequency of extreme cyclones during the SH cool season, but significant decrease in such events in the NH. Comparisons with CMIP3 projections indicate high degrees of consistency for SH projections, but significant differences are found in the NH. Overall, CMIP5 models project larger decrease in storm track activity in the NH troposphere, especially over North America in winter, where psl variance as well as cyclone frequency and amplitude are all projected to decrease significantly. In terms of climatology, similar to CMIP3, most CMIP5 models simulate storm tracks that are too weak and display equatorward biases in their latitude. These biases have also been related to future projections. In the NH, the strength of a model's climatological storm track is negatively correlated with its projected amplitude change under global warming, while in the SH, models with large equatorward biases in storm track latitude tend to project larger poleward shifts.

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