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Evaluating Uncertainty and Modes of Variability for Antarctic Atmospheric Rivers
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  • Christine A Shields,
  • Jonathan D Wille,
  • Allison B. Marquardt Collow,
  • Michelle Laura Maclennan,
  • Irina Gorodetskaya
Christine A Shields
National Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Jonathan D Wille
Université Grenoble Alpes
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Allison B. Marquardt Collow
Universities Space Research Association and NASA/GSFC
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Michelle Laura Maclennan
University of Colorado Boulder
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Irina Gorodetskaya
University of Aveiro
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Antarctic atmospheric rivers (ARs) are driven by their synoptic environments and lead to profound and varying impacts along the coastlines and over the continent. The definition and detection of ARs specifically over Antarctica accounts for large uncertainty in AR metrics, and consequently, impacts quantification. We find that Antarctic-specific detection tools consistently capture the AR footprint inland over the ice sheets, whereas most global detection tools do not. Large-scale synoptic environments and associated ARs, however, are broadly consistent across detection tools. Using data from the Atmospheric River Tracking Method Intercomparison Project and global reanalyses, we quantify the uncertainty in Antarctic AR metrics as well as evaluate large-scale environments in the context of decadal and interannual modes of variability. The Antarctic western hemisphere has stronger connections to both decadal and interannual modes of variability compared to East Antarctica, and the IOD’s influence on Antarctic ARs is stronger while in phase with ENSO.