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Topography dominates the hemispheric asymmetry of Stratospheric Sudden Warmings
  • Siming Liu,
  • Tiffany A Shaw,
  • Chaim I Garfinkel
Siming Liu
University of Chicago

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Tiffany A Shaw
University of Chicago
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Chaim I Garfinkel
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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Stratospheric Sudden Warmings (SSWs) predominantly occur in the Northern Hemisphere with only 1 major event recorded in the Southern Hemisphere in the satellite era. Investigating factors that contribute to this asymmetry can help to reveal the cause of SSWs and lead to improved forecasts. Here we use climate model simulations to investigate the impact of boundary conditions (topography and ocean circulation) on the asymmetry. Flattening topography eliminates Northern Hemisphere SSWs, while removing the ocean meridional overturning circulation reduces their frequency by half. The SSW response to boundary conditions is controlled by decrease in hemispheric asymmetry of eddy heat flux. The reduction is driven by a decrease in amplitude of both eddy meridional wind and eddy temperature, as well as an increase in the difference between their phases. The results suggest boundary conditions play an important role in shaping SSWs, especially topographic forcing, but that the boundary condition interactions are nonlinear.
20 Mar 2024Submitted to ESS Open Archive
25 Mar 2024Published in ESS Open Archive