Category: Uncategorized

Pacific oceanic front amplifies the impact of Atlantic oceanic front on North Atlantic blocking

Cheung, HN., Omrani, NE., Ogawa, F., Keenlyside, N., Nakamura, H., Zhou, W. 2023: Pacific oceanic front amplifies the impact of Atlantic oceanic front on North Atlantic blocking. npj Clim Atmos Sci 6, 61. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41612-023-00370-x

Summary: Atmospheric blocking is a crucial driver of extreme weather events, but its climatological frequency is largely underestimated in state-of-the-art climate models, especially around the North Atlantic. While air-sea interaction along the North Atlantic oceanic frontal region is known to influence Atlantic blocking activity, remote effects from the Pacific have been less studied. Here we use semi-idealised experiments with an atmospheric general circulation model to demonstrate that the mid-latitude Pacific oceanic front is crucial for climatological Atlantic blocking activity. The front intensifies the Pacific eddy-driven jet that extends eastward towards the North Atlantic. The eastward-extended Pacific jet reinforces the North Atlantic circulation response to the Atlantic oceanic front, including the storm track activity and the eddy-driven jet. The strengthening of the eddy-driven jet reduces the Greenland blocking frequency. Moreover, the Pacific oceanic front greatly strengthens the stationary planetary-scale ridge in Europe. Together with a stronger northeastward extension of the Atlantic storm track, enhanced interaction between extratropical cyclones and the European ridge favours the occurrence of Euro-Atlantic blocking. Therefore, the North Atlantic circulation response amplified remotely by the Pacific oceanic front substantially increases Euro-Atlantic blocking frequency while decreasing Greenland blocking frequency.

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