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Weakening of the extratropical storm tracks in solar geoengineering scenarios


Gertler, CG and O'Gorman, PA and Kravitz, B and Moore, JC and Phipps, SJ and Watanabe, S, Weakening of the extratropical storm tracks in solar geoengineering scenarios, Geophysical Research Letters, 47, (11) Article e2020GL087348. ISSN 1944-8007 (2020) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1029/2020GL087348


Solar geoengineering that aims to offset global warming could nonetheless alter atmospheric temperature gradients and humidity and thus affect the extratropical storm tracks. Here, we first analyze climate model simulations from experiment G1 of the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project, in which a reduction in incoming solar radiation balances a quadrupling of CO2. The Northern Hemisphere extratropical storm track weakens by a comparable amount in G1 as it does for increased CO2 only. The Southern Hemisphere storm track also weakens in G1, in contrast to a strengthening and poleward shift for increased CO2. Using mean available potential energy, we show that the changes in zonal‐mean temperature and humidity are sufficient to explain the different responses of storm‐track intensity. We also demonstrate similar weakening in a more complex geoengineering scenario. Our results offer insight into how geoengineering affects storm tracks, highlighting the potential for geoengineering to induce novel climate changes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:storm tracks, geoengineering, available potential energy, climate change, extratropical cyclones
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Atmospheric sciences
Research Field:Atmospheric dynamics
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Air quality, atmosphere and weather
Objective Field:Atmospheric processes and dynamics
UTAS Author:Phipps, SJ (Dr Steven Phipps)
ID Code:139247
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2020-06-02
Last Modified:2020-07-28
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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