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Gloria L. Manney and Michaela I. Hegglin

Abstract

Long-term changes in upper-tropospheric jet latitude, altitude, and strength are assessed for 1980–2014 using five modern reanalyses: MERRA, MERRA-2, ERA-Interim, JRA-55, and NCEP CFSR. Changes are computed from jet locations evaluated daily at each longitude to analyze regional and seasonal variations. The changes in subtropical and polar (eddy driven) jets are evaluated separately. Good agreement among the reanalyses in many regions and seasons provides confidence in the robustness of the diagnosed trends. Jet shifts show strong regional and seasonal variations, resulting in changes that are not robust in zonal or annual means. Robust changes in the subtropical jet indicate tropical widening over Africa except during Northern Hemisphere (NH) spring, and tropical narrowing over the eastern Pacific in NH winter. The Southern Hemisphere (SH) polar jet shows a robust poleward shift, while the NH polar jet shifts equatorward in most regions/seasons. Both subtropical and polar jet altitudes typically increase; these changes are more robust in the NH than in the SH. Subtropical jet wind speeds have generally increased in winter and decreased in summer, whereas polar jet wind speeds have weakened (strengthened) over Africa and eastern Asia (elsewhere) during winter in both hemispheres. The Asian monsoon has increased in area and appears to have shifted slightly westward toward Africa. The results herein highlight the importance of understanding regional and seasonal variations when quantifying long-term changes in jet locations, the mechanisms for those changes, and their potential human impacts. Comparison of multiple reanalyses is a valuable tool for assessing the robustness of jet changes.

Open access
Gloria L. Manney and Michaela I. Hegglin
Open access
Gloria L. Manney, Michaela I. Hegglin, and Zachary D. Lawrence

Abstract

The relationship of upper tropospheric jet variability to El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in reanalysis datasets is analyzed for 1979–2018, revealing robust regional and seasonal variability. Tropical jets associated with monsoons and the Walker circulation are weaker and the zonal mean subtropical jet shifts equatorward in both hemispheres during El Niño, consistent with previous findings. Regional and seasonal variations are analyzed separately for subtropical and polar jets. The subtropical jet shifts poleward during El Niño over the Northern Hemisphere (NH) eastern Pacific Ocean in December–February (DJF) and in some Southern Hemisphere (SH) regions in March–May and September–November (SON). Subtropical jet altitudes increase during El Niño, with significant changes in the zonal mean in the NH and during summer/autumn in the SH. Although zonal mean polar jet correlations with ENSO are rarely significant, robust regional/seasonal changes occur: The SH polar jet shifts equatorward during El Niño over Asia and the western Pacific in DJF and significantly poleward over the eastern Pacific in June–August and SON. During El Niño, polar jets are weaker in the Western Hemisphere and stronger in the Eastern Hemisphere, especially in the SH; conversely, subtropical jets are stronger in the Western Hemisphere and weaker in the Eastern Hemisphere during El Niño in winter and spring. These opposing changes, along with an anticorrelation between subtropical and polar jet wind speeds, reinforce subtropical–polar jet strength differences during El Niño and suggest ENSO-related covariability of the jets. ENSO-related jet latitude, altitude, and wind speed changes can reach 4°, 0.6 km, and 6 m s−1, respectively, for the subtropical jets and 3°, 0.3 km, and 3 m s−1, respectively, for the polar jets.

Open access
Gloria L. Manney, Michaela I. Hegglin, William H. Daffer, Michael J. Schwartz, Michelle L. Santee, and Steven Pawson

Abstract

A global climatology (1979–2012) from the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) shows distributions and seasonal evolution of upper tropospheric jets and their relationships to the stratospheric subvortex and multiple tropopauses. The overall climatological patterns of upper tropospheric jets confirm those seen in previous studies, indicating accurate representation of jet stream dynamics in MERRA. The analysis shows a Northern Hemisphere (NH) upper tropospheric jet stretching nearly zonally from the mid-Atlantic across Africa and Asia. In winter–spring, this jet splits over the eastern Pacific, merges again over eastern North America, and then shifts poleward over the North Atlantic. The jets associated with tropical circulations are also captured, with upper tropospheric westerlies demarking cyclonic flow downstream from the Australian and Asian monsoon anticyclones and associated easterly jets. Multiple tropopauses associated with the thermal tropopause “break” commonly extend poleward from the subtropical upper tropospheric jet. In Southern Hemisphere (SH) summer, the tropopause break, along with a poleward-stretching secondary tropopause, often occurs across the tropical westerly jet downstream of the Australian monsoon region. SH high-latitude multiple tropopauses, nearly ubiquitous in June–July, are associated with the unique polar winter thermal structure. High-latitude multiple tropopauses in NH fall–winter are, however, sometimes associated with poleward-shifted upper tropospheric jets. The SH subvortex jet extends down near the level of the subtropical jet core in winter and spring. Most SH subvortex jets merge with an upper tropospheric jet between May and December; although much less persistent than in the SH, merged NH subvortex jets are common between November and April.

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Mark P. Baldwin, Thomas Birner, Guy Brasseur, John Burrows, Neal Butchart, Rolando Garcia, Marvin Geller, Lesley Gray, Kevin Hamilton, Nili Harnik, Michaela I. Hegglin, Ulrike Langematz, Alan Robock, Kaoru Sato, and Adam A. Scaife

Abstract

The stratosphere contains ~17% of Earth’s atmospheric mass, but its existence was unknown until 1902. In the following decades our knowledge grew gradually as more observations of the stratosphere were made. In 1913 the ozone layer, which protects life from harmful ultraviolet radiation, was discovered. From ozone and water vapor observations, a first basic idea of a stratospheric general circulation was put forward. Since the 1950s our knowledge of the stratosphere and mesosphere has expanded rapidly, and the importance of this region in the climate system has become clear. With more observations, several new stratospheric phenomena have been discovered: the quasi-biennial oscillation, sudden stratospheric warmings, the Southern Hemisphere ozone hole, and surface weather impacts of stratospheric variability. None of these phenomena were anticipated by theory. Advances in theory have more often than not been prompted by unexplained phenomena seen in new stratospheric observations. From the 1960s onward, the importance of dynamical processes and the coupled stratosphere–troposphere circulation was realized. Since approximately 2000, better representations of the stratosphere—and even the mesosphere—have been included in climate and weather forecasting models. We now know that in order to produce accurate seasonal weather forecasts, and to predict long-term changes in climate and the future evolution of the ozone layer, models with a well-resolved stratosphere with realistic dynamics and chemistry are necessary.

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Thomas Popp, Michaela I. Hegglin, Rainer Hollmann, Fabrice Ardhuin, Annett Bartsch, Ana Bastos, Victoria Bennett, Jacqueline Boutin, Carsten Brockmann, Michael Buchwitz, Emilio Chuvieco, Philippe Ciais, Wouter Dorigo, Darren Ghent, Richard Jones, Thomas Lavergne, Christopher J. Merchant, Benoit Meyssignac, Frank Paul, Shaun Quegan, Shubha Sathyendranath, Tracy Scanlon, Marc Schröder, Stefan G. H. Simis, and Ulrika Willén

Abstract

Climate data records (CDRs) of essential climate variables (ECVs) as defined by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) derived from satellite instruments help to characterize the main components of the Earth system, to identify the state and evolution of its processes, and to constrain the budgets of key cycles of water, carbon, and energy. The Climate Change Initiative (CCI) of the European Space Agency (ESA) coordinates the derivation of CDRs for 21 GCOS ECVs. The combined use of multiple ECVs for Earth system science applications requires consistency between and across their respective CDRs. As a comprehensive definition for multi-ECV consistency is missing so far, this study proposes defining consistency on three levels: 1) consistency in format and metadata to facilitate their synergetic use (technical level); 2) consistency in assumptions and auxiliary datasets to minimize incompatibilities among datasets (retrieval level); and 3) consistency between combined or multiple CDRs within their estimated uncertainties or physical constraints (scientific level). Analyzing consistency between CDRs of multiple quantities is a challenging task and requires coordination between different observational communities, which is facilitated by the CCI program. The interdependencies of the satellite-based CDRs derived within the CCI program are analyzed to identify where consistency considerations are most important. The study also summarizes measures taken in CCI to ensure consistency on the technical level, and develops a concept for assessing consistency on the retrieval and scientific levels in the light of underlying physical knowledge. Finally, this study presents the current status of consistency between the CCI CDRs and future efforts needed to further improve it.

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Wouter Dorigo, Stephan Dietrich, Filipe Aires, Luca Brocca, Sarah Carter, Jean-François Cretaux, David Dunkerley, Hiroyuki Enomoto, René Forsberg, Andreas Güntner, Michaela I. Hegglin, Rainer Hollmann, Dale F. Hurst, Johnny A. Johannessen, Christian Kummerow, Tong Lee, Kari Luojus, Ulrich Looser, Diego G. Miralles, Victor Pellet, Thomas Recknagel, Claudia Ruz Vargas, Udo Schneider, Philippe Schoeneich, Marc Schröder, Nigel Tapper, Valery Vuglinsky, Wolfgang Wagner, Lisan Yu, Luca Zappa, Michael Zemp, and Valentin Aich

ABSTRACT

Life on Earth vitally depends on the availability of water. Human pressure on freshwater resources is increasing, as is human exposure to weather-related extremes (droughts, storms, floods) caused by climate change. Understanding these changes is pivotal for developing mitigation and adaptation strategies. The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) defines a suite of essential climate variables (ECVs), many related to the water cycle, required to systematically monitor Earth’s climate system. Since long-term observations of these ECVs are derived from different observation techniques, platforms, instruments, and retrieval algorithms, they often lack the accuracy, completeness, and resolution, to consistently characterize water cycle variability at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Here, we review the capability of ground-based and remotely sensed observations of water cycle ECVs to consistently observe the hydrological cycle. We evaluate the relevant land, atmosphere, and ocean water storages and the fluxes between them, including anthropogenic water use. Particularly, we assess how well they close on multiple temporal and spatial scales. On this basis, we discuss gaps in observation systems and formulate guidelines for future water cycle observation strategies. We conclude that, while long-term water cycle monitoring has greatly advanced in the past, many observational gaps still need to be overcome to close the water budget and enable a comprehensive and consistent assessment across scales. Trends in water cycle components can only be observed with great uncertainty, mainly due to insufficient length and homogeneity. An advanced closure of the water cycle requires improved model–data synthesis capabilities, particularly at regional to local scales.

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