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Dynamical properties and extremes of Northern Hemisphere climate fields over the past 60 years
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
Number of Authors: 4
2017 (English)In: Nonlinear processes in geophysics, ISSN 1023-5809, E-ISSN 1607-7946, Vol. 24, no 4, 713-725 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Atmospheric dynamics are described by a set of partial differential equations yielding an infinite-dimensional phase space. However, the actual trajectories followed by the system appear to be constrained to a finite-dimensional phase space, i.e. a strange attractor. The dynamical properties of this attractor are difficult to determine due to the complex nature of atmospheric motions. A first step to simplify the problem is to focus on observables which affect - or are linked to phenomena which affect - human welfare and activities, such as sea-level pressure, 2m temperature, and precipitation frequency. We make use of recent advances in dynamical systems theory to estimate two instantaneous dynamical properties of the above fields for the Northern Hemisphere: local dimension and persistence. We then use these metrics to characterize the seasonality of the different fields and their interplay. We further analyse the large-scale anomaly patterns corresponding to phase-space extremes - namely time steps at which the fields display extremes in their instantaneous dynamical properties. The analysis is based on the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data, over the period 1948-2013. The results show that (i) despite the high dimensionality of atmospheric dynamics, the Northern Hemisphere sea-level pressure and temperature fields can on average be described by roughly 20 degrees of freedom; (ii) the precipitation field has a higher dimensionality; and (iii) the seasonal forcing modulates the variability of the dynamical indicators and affects the occurrence of phase-space extremes. We further identify a number of robust correlations between the dynamical properties of the different variables.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 24, no 4, 713-725 p.
National Category
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-150933DOI: 10.5194/npg-24-713-2017ISI: 000416935400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-150933DiVA: diva2:1171891
Available from: 2018-01-08 Created: 2018-01-08 Last updated: 2018-01-08Bibliographically approved

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