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Improved Predictability of Air-Sea Interactions between Arctic and Tropical Zones

The Meiyu front, or a relatively stable meteorological zone stretching from the east coasts of China and Taiwan to southern Japan, serves as a barrier between Arctic and tropical circulation, playing a large role in determining weather and climate in the region. The front is occasionally disturbed during the summer months with eastward moving precipitation and waves at a scale of about 1,000 km. How this pattern may change with rising global temperatures is unknown, but a new study, partially funded by the Climate Program Office’s Climate Variability & Predictability (CVP) Program, analyzes 18 CMIP-6 climate models to make progress on this question. University of Hawaii at Manoa PhD candidate Guang Yang along with CVP-funded scientist Tim Li found that with future climate projections, the intensity of these wave and precipitation disturbances would be enhanced by about 15-20%. Although the intensity is projected to increase, the structure of the waves and precipitation patterns remain unchanged. The results, published in Climate Dynamics, provide evidence that strengthened moisture circulation with global warming would drive this pattern along the Meiyu front. This work improves predictability of Pacific Ocean trends with future climate change, contributing to a CVP initiative to improve our understanding of air-sea interaction in our current and future climate.

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Image credit: CVP
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