Climate Change and the North Atlantic Storm Track

Quantifying the magnitude of internal climate variability and distinguishing internal variability from externally forced variations using long term observations and climate simulations.

Main content

The North Atlantic storm track is important for the poleward transport of heat, momentum and moisture, and significantly influences weather over Europe and North America.  How the strength and position of the storm track will evolve under future climate change is of great interest. In response to greenhouse gas forcing, the North Atlantic storm track is projected to experience a strengthening and eastward extension. Recent evidence suggests that the storm track may be influenced by the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) through its impact on the meridional sea surface temperature gradient and surface baroclinicity. 

This project aims to examine the extent to which ocean coupling affects the ability of CMIP5 models to simulate atmospheric circulation changes under global warming. In particular, the project seeks to evaluate whether different model realizations of ocean circulation are responsible for the CMIP5 ensemble spread in North Atlantic storm track behavior.

Duration: 2012-2015

Nils Gunnar Kvamstø (Project leader)
Laura Ciasto

Funding: EarthClim/Research Council of Norway