The dynamic character of Northern Hemisphere flow regimes in a near-term climate change projection

The dynamic character of an enstrophy-based diagnostic, previously used in the study of atmospheric blocking, is examined here, in near-term future simulations from the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace Climate Model version 4 (IPSL-CM4) and version 5 (IPSL-CM5) climate models of the Northern Hemisphere flow for moderate climate change scenarios. Previous research has shown that integrated regional enstrophy (IE) increases during blocking onset and decay, which is a reflection of planetary-scale instability. In addition, IE has been shown previously to increase during flow regime transitions in general, even those not associated with blocking events. Here, a 31-year IE diagnostic time series is examined for changes in short term (5–40 days) planetary-scale variability that may correspond flow regime changes in an increased carbon dioxide environment. The time-series analysis herein indicates that the IE diagnostic provides evidence for approximately 30–35 atmospheric flow regime transitions per year in a warmer climate, which is similar to that of the control run and the latest 30-year observed climate, as derived from re-analyses. This result has implications regarding the predictability of weather in a warmer world.

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