Accessibility navigation

Trends in the atmospheric jet streams are emerging in observations and could be linked to tropical warming

Woollings, T. ORCID:, Drouard, M., O’Reilly, C. H. ORCID:, Sexton, D. M. H. and McSweeney, C. (2023) Trends in the atmospheric jet streams are emerging in observations and could be linked to tropical warming. Communications Earth & Environment, 4 (1). 125. ISSN 2662-4435

Text (open access) - Published Version
· Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/s43247-023-00792-8


Climate models predict a weak poleward shift of the jets in response to continuing climate change. Here we revisit observed jet trends using 40 years of satellite-era reanalysis products and find evidence that general poleward shifts are emerging. The significance of these trends is often low and varies between datasets, but the similarity across different seasons and hemispheres is notable. While much recent work has focused on the jet response to amplified Arctic warming, the observed trends are more consistent with the known sensitivity of the circulation to tropical warming. The circulation trends are within the range of historical model simulations but are relatively large compared to the models when the accompanying trends in upper tropospheric temperature gradients are considered. The balance between tropical warming and jet shifts should therefore be closely monitored in the near future. We hypothesise that the sensitivity of the circulation to tropical heating may be one factor affecting this balance.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:111665
Publisher:Springer Nature


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation