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:

  1. How does rapid warming in the Arctic alter circulation patterns in the mid-latitudes?
  2. Why did so-called wave-resonance events, associated with extreme weather, occur more often recently?
  3. How does the Hadley circulation change under global warming and what are the key drivers?
  4. 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)



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