Climate Dynamics

, Volume 49, Issue 11–12, pp 3753–3763 | Cite as

Dependence of Arctic climate on the latitudinal position of stationary waves and to high-latitudes surface warming

  • Yechul Shin
  • Sarah M. KangEmail author
  • Masahiro Watanabe


Previous studies suggest large uncertainties in the stationary wave response under global warming. Here, we investigate how the Arctic climate responds to changes in the latitudinal position of stationary waves, and to high-latitudes surface warming that mimics the effect of Arctic sea ice loss under global warming. To generate stationary waves in an atmospheric model coupled to slab ocean, a series of experiments is performed where the thermal forcing with a zonal wavenumber-2 (with zero zonal-mean) is prescribed at the surface at different latitude bands in the Northern Hemisphere. When the stationary waves are generated in the subtropics, the cooling response dominates over the warming response in the lower troposphere due to cloud radiative effects. Then, the low-level baroclinicity is reduced in the subtropics, which gives rise to a poleward shift of the eddy driven jet, thereby inducing substantial cooling in the northern high latitudes. As the stationary waves are progressively generated at higher latitudes, the zonal-mean climate state gradually becomes more similar to the integration with no stationary waves. These differences in the mean climate affect the Arctic climate response to high-latitudes surface warming. Additional surface heating over the Arctic is imposed to the reference climates in which the stationary waves are located at different latitude bands. When the stationary waves are positioned at lower latitudes, the eddy driven jet is located at higher latitude, closer to the prescribed Arctic heating. As baroclinicity is more effectively perturbed, the jet shifts more equatorward that accompanies a larger reduction in the poleward eddy transport of heat and momentum. A stronger eddy-induced descending motion creates greater warming over the Arctic. Our study calls for a more accurate simulation of the present-day stationary wave pattern to enhance the predictability of the Arctic warming response in a changing climate.


Stationary waves Baroclinicity Arctic amplification 



We thank the two reviewers for their thoughtful comments on the manuscript. SMK and YS were supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (2016R1A1A3A04005520).


  1. Anderson JL et al (2004) The new GFDL global atmosphere and land model AM2-LM2: evaluation with prescribed SST simulations. J Clim 17:4641–4673. doi: 10.1175/1520-0442(2004)017\4089:IOALMO[2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brandefelt J, Kornich H (2008) Northern hemisphere stationary waves in future climate projections. J Clim 21:6341–6353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brayshaw DJ, Hoskins B, Blackburn M (2008) The storm track response to idealised SST perturbations in an aquaplanet GCM. J Atmos Sci 65:2842–2860CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Butler AH, Thompson DWJ, Heikes R (2010) The steady-state atmospheric circulation response to climate change-like thermal forcings in a simple general circulation model. J Clim 23:3474–3496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chang EKM (2009) Diabatic and orographic forcing of northern winter stationary waves and storm tracks. J Clim 22:670–688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Deser C, Tomas R, Alexander M, Lawrence D (2010) The seasonal atmospheric response to projected Arctic sea-ice loss in the late twenty-first century. J Clim 23:333–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Deser C, Tomas R, Sun L (2015) The role of ocean–atmosphere coupling in the zonal-mean atmospheric response to Arctic sea ice loss. J Clim 28(6):2168–2186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Grise KM, Polvani LM (2014) The response of midlatitude jets to increased CO2: distinguishing the roles of sea surface tempera- ture and direct radiative forcing. Geophys Res Lett 41:6863–6871CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Haarsma RJ, Selten F (2012) Anthropogenic changes in the Walker circulation and their impact on the extra-tropical planetary wave structure in the Northern Hemisphere. Clim Dyn. doi: 10.1007/s00382-012-1308-1 Google Scholar
  10. Hassanzadeh P, Kuang Z, Farrell BF (2014) Responses of midlatitude blocks and wave amplitude to changes in the meridional temperature gradient in an idealized dry GCM. Geophys Res Lett 41:5223–5232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Held IM, Ting M, Wang H (2002) Northern winter stationary waves: theory and modeling. J Clim 15:2125–2144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hoskins BJ, Valdes PJ (1990) On the existence of storm-tracks. J Atmos Sci 47:1854–1864CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Inatsu M, Mukougawa H, Xie SP (2003) Atmospheric response to Zonal variations in midlatitude SST: transient and stationary eddies and their feedback. J Clim 16(20):3314–3329. doi: 10.1175/1520-0442(2003)016<3314:artzvi>;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Joseph R, Ting M, Kushner PJ (2004) The global stationary wave response to climate change in a coupled GCM. J Clim 17:540–556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kamae Y, Watanabe M, Kimoto M, Shiogama H (2014) Summertime land–sea thermal contrast and atmospheric circulation over East Asia in a warming climate—Part I: past changes and future projections. Clim Dyn 43(9–10):2553–2568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kang SM, Xie SP (2014) Dependence of climate response on meridional structure of external thermal forcing. J Clim 27:5593–5600. doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00622.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kang SM, Held IM et al (2008) The response of the ITCZ to extratropical thermal forcing: idealized slab-ocean experiments with a GCM. J Clim 21(14):3521–3532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lee S, Kim H-K (2003) The dynamical relationship between sub-tropical and eddy driven jets. J Atmos Sci 60:1490–1503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lu J, Cai M (2009) Seasonality of polar surface warming amplification in climate simulations. Geophys Res Lett, 36(16)Google Scholar
  20. Lu J, Chen G, Frierson DMW (2008) Response of the zonal mean atmospheric circulation to El Nin ̃o versus global warming. J Clim 21:5835–5851CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pithan F, Mauritsen T (2014) Arctic amplification dominated by temperature feedbacks in contemporary climate models. Nat Geosci 7(3):181–184. doi: 10.1038/ngeo2071 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sakamoto TT, Hasumi H, Ishii M, Emori S, Suzuki T, Nishimura T, Sumi A (2005) Responses of the Kuroshio and the Kuroshio extension to global warming in a high-resolution climate model. Geophys Res Lett 32:L14617. doi: 10.1029/2005GL023384 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Screen JA, Simmonds I, Deser C, Tomas R (2013) The atmospheric response to three decades of observed Arctic sea-ice loss. J Clim 26:1230–1248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Shaw TA (2014) On the role of planetary-scale waves in the abrupt seasonal transition of the northern hemisphere general circulation. J Atmos Sci 71:1724–1746CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Shaw TA, Voigt A (2015) Tug of war on summertime circulation between radiative forcing and sea surface warming. Nat Geosci 8:560–566. doi: 10.1038/ngeo2449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Shaw TA, Voigt A et al (2015) Response of the intertropical convergence zone to zonally asymmetric subtropical surface forcings. Geophys Res Lett 42:9961–9969CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Soden BJ, Held IM (2006) An assessment of climate feedbacks in coupled ocean-atmosphere models. J Clim 19:3354–3360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Stephenson DB, Held IM (1993) GCM response of northern winter stationary waves and storm tracks to increasing amounts of carbon dioxide. J Clim 6:1859–1870CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ting M, Wang H, Yu L (2001) Nonlinear stationary wave mainte- nance and seasonal cycle in the GFDL R30 GCM. J Atmos Sci 58:2331–2354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tomas R, Deser C, Sun L (2016) The role of ocean heat transport in the global climate response to projected Arctic sea ice loss. J Clim 29(19):6841–6859CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Voigt A, Bony S, Dufresne J-L, Stevens B (2014) Radiative impact of clouds on the shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. Geophys Res Lett 41:4308–4315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Yim BY, Min HS, Kug JS (2016) Inter-model diversity in jet stream changes and its relation to Arctic climate in CMIP5. Clim Dyn 47:235–248. doi: 10.1007/s00382-015-2833-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Yin JH (2005) A consistent poleward shift of the storm tracks in simulations of 21st century climate. Geophys Res Lett 32:L18701. doi: 10.1029/2005GL023684 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zelinka MD, Klein SA, Taylor KE, Andrews T, Webb MJ, Gregory JM, Forster PM (2013) Contributions of different cloud types to feedbacks and rapid adjustments in CMIP5. J Clim. doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00555.1 Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Urban and Environmental EngineeringUlsan National Institute of Science and Technology, UNIST-gil 50UlsanRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Atmosphere and Ocean Research InstituteThe University of TokyoChibaJapan

Personalised recommendations