Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

John Cassano

Second Advisor

Julienne Stroeve

Third Advisor

Jennifer E. Kay

Fourth Advisor

Mark Serreze

Abstract

In recent decades, a rapidly warming lower atmosphere has been observed in the Arctic. Consequently, we wish to address a fundamental question: how do weather patterns in the northern hemisphere respond to these significant changes in the Arctic, especially sea ice loss? To gain insight about the possible linkage between warming Arctic conditions and the resultant atmospheric responses, changes in cyclone activity and synoptic weather patterns were investigated in this study. Given that precipitation can also affect weather patterns, a newly developed reanalysis precipitation was evaluated over Greenland for future hydrological cycle research in the Arctic.

First, the Arctic System Reanalysis version 1 precipitation generally showed good agreement with gauge-based precipitation measured in coastal areas. However, precipitation at Summit, Greenland, a higher continental environment, indicated overestimated amounts with respect to Doppler radar measurements.

Secondly, no robust changes in cyclone activity were observed, despite the changes in moisture availability, regional baroclinicity, and vertical stability.

Lastly, we confirmed that persistent warm surface signals can generate a ridge at 500 hPa and a surface high-pressure system downstream of the ridge. When the Arctic surface forcing has a sufficiently long persistence over a moderately large area, it can induce mid-latitude cold-air advection.

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