Amplification of Waveguide Teleconnections in the Boreal Summer

  • Haiyan TengEmail author
  • Grant Branstator
Mid-latitude Processes and Climate Change (I Simpson, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Mid-latitude Processes and Climate Change


Purpose of Review

While the influence of climate change on mid-latitude atmospheric circulation remains uncertain, hypotheses based on linear waveguide dynamics have been proposed suggesting amplification of circumglobal quasi-stationary Rossby wave events, which may have led to persistent and high-impact extremes in recent boreal summers. It is thus useful to synthesize these hypotheses and to discuss limitations of this simplified dynamical framework for explaining observed features.

Recent Findings

The hypothesis that climate change can alter the basic circulation state and thereby enhance circumglobal waveguide teleconnections by increasing their resonance has been proposed but has not yet been verified with models. Furthermore, there is no convincing evidence that the variability of disturbances within the waveguide will increase in future climates projected by the CMIP5 models. On the other hand, recent research indicates that enhanced diabatic heating, particularly that associated with increasing aridity in the mid-latitude, can stimulate the jet stream waveguides, thus suggesting an alternative mechanism which, if properly modeled, could lead to more high-amplitude circumglobal planetary wave events.


There could be circumstances that lead to resonant amplification of waveguide Rossby waves in the boreal summer, but an alternative mechanism that involves changes in the forcing rather than the mean state deserves closer attention.


Waveguide teleconnection Circumglobal teleconnection Quasi-stationary Rossby waves Extremes 



The authors thank the section editor Dr. Isla Simpson and two anonymous reviewers for constructive reviews. Portions of this study were supported by the Regional and Global Model Analysis (RGMA) component of the Earth and Environmental System Modeling Program of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Biological & Environmental Research (BER) Cooperative Agreement no. DE-FC02-97ER62402, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the NSF.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of both authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Center for Atmospheric ResearchBoulderUSA

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