The physics of Arctic warm-air intrusions and their effects on climate

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2017
End date: 31/12/2020
Funding: 3655000 SEK


Arctic climate change has been a scientific focus because of its pace, ~2-3 times faster than global climate change. There is, however, no consensus concerning reasons or mechanisms for this Arctic amplification. Two main research tracks can be distinguished: changes in external forcing or changes due to internal feedbacks. We argue that these two concepts need to be merged to one single context. Changes in meridional influx to the Arctic interact with local climate processes causing feedbacks. In particular, we will focus on the transformation of warm-and-moist atmospheric intrusions as extratropical air makes it into the Arctic and the feedbacks these cause.

Synergistically using data from different sources, we will explore the physics of this air-mass transformation, using trajectories estimated from reanalysis, process-level observations from Arctic ocean expeditions and observations of transformation along trajectories from several satellite products, from active radar and lidar below 82N to hyperspectral profilers (AIRS, CrIS and IASI; in particular AIRS has a relatively long record). We will collect, study and understand this air-mass transformation; then using a new 30+ year AVHRR satellite product in conjunction with reanalysis data to develop climatology and trends of air-mass transformation events and effects, and finally links these to atmospheric circulation patterns using objective Self Organizing Maps to analyze atmospheric flow fields.

Last updated on 2017-03-04 at 09:23