Shifts in Atmospheric Circulation


Shifts in large-scale circulation patterns can strongly alter the frequency and/or intensity of extremes and can thus have severe humanitarian impacts. Climate change over the last century has already altered some large-scale circulation patterns but the uncertainties are large.

Started in 2014, in this project we analyzed how large-scale circulation changed and how this affected extreme weather: From heat waves, to cold spells to drought.

Research Questions

SACRE-X aims to provide fundamental insights into atmospheric circulation, its modes of variability, and the link to weather extremes. Key research questions are:
– How does rapid warming in the Arctic alter circulation patterns in the mid-latitudes?
– Why did so-called wave-resonance events, associated with extreme weather, occur more often recently?
– How does the Hadley circulation change under global warming and what are the key drivers?
– How do changes in Rossby waves and jets affect surface weather and why?


Topological visualization of jetstreams around the globe with a Jetstream detection algorithm applied to polar and subtropical jets in the northern hemisphere (white lines)

Key Findings

  • one
  • two
  • three



post info

Get in touch with us

Dr. Dim Coumou

Department of Water & Climate Risk
Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)
VU Amsterdam
W&N-building, Room C-515
De Boelelaan 1087
1081 HV Amsterdam

Department of Earth System Analysis
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Telegraphenberg A62, room S16
D-14473, Potsdam, Germany

Recent Posts


    Research Questions How will future changes in northern hemisphere ocean…

    Read More »

    Climate storylines, Machine learning techniques, System dynamics modelling Contributors Raed…

    Read More »

Social Media