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Golocyte Golo
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Al, thanks. Your response and the survey article you gave are very interesting and I'll put in some time trying to understand them. I will definitely say that the proposed behavior of the tropical cell seems much easier to understand.
Toggle Commented Mar 15, 2017 on PIOMAS March 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Zebra, indeed I am also highly interested in shorter term changes. In fact, present circumstances as well as medium term circumstances (like last summer's general arctic low pressure) are precisely the source of my confusion. I have a hard time accepting the view that the current state of arctic low pressure and mid-latitude high pressure is a "variation" of the classical model. This is ---precisely the opposite--- of what the classical model would predict. How can general, broad, deep low pressure in the arctic, such as exists now, has existed for several days, and is forecast to exist for at least a week into the future, coexist with the 3-cell circulation model that demands strong high pressure in the arctic? Do other (non 3-cell) circulation models sometimes manifest? What are these models? Powerful, persistent arctic low pressure simply doesn't make sense, particularly in wintertime. This has surely been explored in the professional literature. If not, then you damn climate scientists better get on your game. Something is afoot, and if you don't catch it, some clever outsider will.
Toggle Commented Mar 15, 2017 on PIOMAS March 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Hi zebra; the hypothetical I was engaging in would be a year-round ice-free arctic, as might exist in a distant warm future, or the distant warm past such as the Eocene. But that very uniform situation of year-round open water may not be the only way to strongly disrupt global circulation (in my highly amateur view). In the near future we might have thin ice in the arctic winter, therefore much more heat transfer to the atmosphere, leading to a general "cold continents, warm arctic" scenario and conceivably therefore a general wintertime arctic low and a profoundly changed atmospheric circulation. Zebra, as for what time-scale I am curious about, I would say "all time scales." Let me try to clarify. Perhaps right now we are seeing a chaotic phase change, so perhaps the atmosphere switches intermittently between different circulation patterns, sometimes the standard 3-cell model, sometimes something very chaotic, perhaps sometimes something very orderly but non-standard (maybe a 2-cell or 4-cell system?). Conceivably that's what we're seeing now. Then long-term, in 200 years when there is a year-round ice-free arctic, we will enter a new but stable climate regime (I am highly skeptical of the hypothetical 1-cell system I have seen elsewhere---it seems perfectly clear that the Coriolis force forbids this). As wayne also noted, we have seen a great deal of arctic low pressure for some months now. What my amateur-climatology mind is curious about, is whether or not this means we are *presently* seeing a transition (perhaps temporary or intermittent) to some non 3-cell atmospheric circulation regime. If so, does this provide hints as to the future of atmospheric circulation, should the Earth warm further? Surely this has been explored in the professional literature somewhere.
Toggle Commented Mar 14, 2017 on PIOMAS March 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Long term forecasts are now showing deep, broad low pressure filling the central arctic basin for the entire coming week, and high pressure over Siberia, Europe and North America forming a contiguous or nearly contiguous ring. At least naively, wouldn't this indicate a circulation pattern of lifting over the arctic and subsidence over the mid-northern latitudes? Again naively, one could construct a 4-cell circulation pattern, where south of this mid-latitude subsidence zone exists another lifting zone, over which the jet stream exists. (Naïve interpretation of the current jet stream configuration actually seems to support this.) Are there any climate scientists here who can tell me in detail why such Kelly Ann Conway-style "alternate" climatology is fantastically stupid? Or do "alternative" circulation patters really exist sometimes?
Toggle Commented Mar 13, 2017 on PIOMAS March 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Hi Bill, thanks for your insights. A meandering, deeply buckled jet stream is something I can understand. I have even heard of the polar jet breaking into two, and temporarily creating two vortices, one over the CA archipelago, and one over Siberia. This seems to make sense as a pathological but temporary situation caused by extreme buckling of the jet stream, which gets rectified as the normal atmospheric forces reassert themselves. But the current setup of having a general low pressure at the pole and general high pressure surrounding it seems like something different. Second, there was last summer's pattern, where for nearly the whole summer it seemed persistent low pressure existed in the arctic. How does general low pressure in the arctic square with the circulation model? Are there more complex (non 3-cell) circulation models that sometimes show up? Part of the motivation for my question is rooted in climate change. If the future gives us an ice-free arctic, it seems a gigantic warm pool at the pole would create winter-time polar low pressure, which would drastically alter atmospheric circulation. Just speculation though. I know there are climate scientists within Neven's audience. Has this been examined in the professional literature? Maybe somebody shoot me a reference?
Toggle Commented Mar 13, 2017 on PIOMAS March 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Dear all, I've been lurking since 2012---a long time!---and am finally breaking my silence with a question for anyone who might want to help. As an interested outsider to the field of climate science, I am aware of the 3-cell atmospheric circulation model. The polar cell, in principle, should have a high pressure zone in its center, with a surrounding zone of low pressure over which (roughly speaking) the jet stream exists. At the moment however, there is a gigantic ---low--- pressure situated over the sea ice, and the surface-level barometric pressure maps show surrounding fields of high pressure. This appears to be precisely the opposite of what the 3-cell circulation model says should exist. So what does this mean for global atmospheric circulation? Has it temporarily broken down into some other, more complex pattern? Further, during this past summer (summer 2016) you may recall the arctic was covered with low pressure systems for most of the season. I had the same confusion then. Doesn't this imply general surface-level lifting in the center of the polar cell? Isn't that where atmospheric down-welling should exist? So there. I do not understand how this squares with the theoretical model of atmospheric circulation. If anyone has any insights to offer, thanks!
Toggle Commented Mar 12, 2017 on PIOMAS March 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
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Mar 12, 2017