Climate change in the subtropical jetstream during 1950–2009
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A study of six decades (1950–2009) of reanalysis data reveals that the subtropical jetstream (STJ) of the Southern (Northern) Hemisphere between longitudes 0°E and 180°E has weakened (strengthened) during both the boreal winter (January, February) and summer (July, August) seasons. The temperature of the upper troposphere of the midlatitudes has a warming trend in the Southern Hemisphere and a cooling trend in the Northern Hemisphere. Correspondingly, the north-south temperature gradient in the upper troposphere has a decreasing trend in the Southern Hemisphere and an increasing trend in the Northern Hemisphere, which affects the strength of the STJ through the thermal wind relation. We devised a method of isotach analysis in intervals of 0.1 m s−1 in vertical sections of hemispheric mean winds to study the climate change in the STJ core wind speed, and also core height and latitude. We found that the upper tropospheric cooling of the Asian mid-latitudes has a role in the strengthening of the STJ over Asia, while throughout the rest of the globe the upper troposphere has a warming trend that weakens the STJ. Available studies show that the mid-latitude cooling of the upper troposphere over Asia is caused by anthropogenic aerosols (particularly sulphate aerosols) and the warming over the rest of the global mid-latitude upper troposphere is due to increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Key wordssubtropical jetstream upper troposphere greenhouse gases aerosols
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