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Atmospheric moisture transport between mid-latitudes and the Arctic: Regional, seasonal and vertical distributions
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology . University of Colorado Boulder, USA.
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Number of Authors: 52019 (English)In: International Journal of Climatology, ISSN 0899-8418, E-ISSN 1097-0088, Vol. 39, no 6, p. 2862-2879Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Horizontal moisture transport has a manifold role in the Arctic climate system as it distributes atmospheric water vapour and thereby shapes the radiative and hydrological conditions. Moisture transport between the Arctic and the mid-latitudes was examined based on ERA-Interim reanalysis. The meridional net transport is only a small part of the water vapour exchange between the Arctic and mid-latitudes and does not give a complete view of temporal and spatial variations in the transport. Especially near the surface, most of the northwards moisture transport is balanced by the southwards transport, and therefore the meridional net moisture transport at 60 degrees-70 degrees N peaks approximately at 100 hPa higher altitude than the northwards and southwards moisture transports. The total moisture transport (sum of absolute northwards and southwards moisture transports) has a much larger seasonal variation than the net transport (mean meridional transport), and the strength of the total transport is related to atmospheric humidity rather than the wind field. Strong individual moisture transport events contribute to a large part of the northwards moisture transport. This is consistent with the result that the net moisture transport is essentially generated by temporal variations of moisture fluxes. The moisture transport due to stationary zonal variation in the mass flux mostly defines the spatial distribution of the meridional moisture transport. The seasonal cycle of the net moisture transport is related to the seasonal cycle of transient eddy moisture transport but inter-annual variations of the net moisture transport are largely influenced by the stationary eddy moisture transport.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 39, no 6, p. 2862-2879
Keywords [en]
climate, humidity, moisture transport, polar, reanalysis, troposphere
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-169285DOI: 10.1002/joc.5988ISI: 000465863900002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-169285DiVA, id: diva2:1320822
Available from: 2019-06-05 Created: 2019-06-05 Last updated: 2019-06-05Bibliographically approved

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