Enhanced jet stream waviness induced by suppressed tropical Pacific convection during boreal summer

Xiaoting Sun, Qinghua Ding, Shih-Yu Simon Wang, Dániel Topál, Qingquan Li, Christopher Castro, Haiyan Teng, Rui Luo & Yihui Ding 

Department of Energy, Office of Science, Earth & Environmental Systems Modeling, MultiSector Dynamics Program Acknowledged Support: No, other Non-MSD source of support

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-28911-7

Abstract

Consensus on the cause of recent midlatitude circulation changes toward a wavier manner in the Northern Hemisphere has not been reached, albeit a number of studies collectively suggest that this phenomenon is driven by global warming and associated Arctic amplification. Here, through a fingerprint analysis of various global simulations and a tropical heating-imposed experiment, we suggest that the suppression of tropical convection along the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone induced by sea surface temperature (SST) cooling trends over the tropical Eastern Pacific contributed to the increased summertime midlatitude waviness in the past 40 years through the generation of a Rossby-wave-train propagating within the jet waveguide and the reduced north-south temperature gradient. This perspective indicates less of an influence from the Arctic amplification on the observed mid-latitude wave amplification than what was previously estimated. This study also emphasizes the need to better predict the tropical Pacific SST variability in order to project the summer jet waviness and consequent weather extremes.

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