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Jet Stream-surface tracer relationships: Mechanism and sensitivity to source region
  • Gaige Hunter Kerr,
  • Darryn W. Waugh,
  • Scot Miller
Gaige Hunter Kerr
The George Washington University, The George Washington University

Corresponding Author:gaigekerr@gwu.edu

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Darryn W. Waugh
Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins University
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Scot Miller
Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins University
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The upper-level jet stream impacts surface-level trace gas variability, yet the cause of this relationship remains unclear. We investigate the mechanism(s) responsible for the relationship using idealized tracers with different source regions within a chemical transport model. All tracers’ daily variabilities are correlated with the meridional position of the jet in the mid-latitudes, but tracers emitted south (north) of the jet increase (decrease) in the mid-latitudes when the jet is shifted poleward. The jet stream regulates the near-surface meridional wind, and this coupling together with the meridional tracer gradient robustly predicts where the jet stream and tracers are in and out of phase. Our study elucidates a major driver of trace gas variability and links it to the location of the jet stream and emissions. These results are useful for understanding changes in trace gas variability if the jet stream’s position or major emission source regions change in the future.
16 Jan 2021Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 48 issue 1. 10.1029/2020GL090714