What is it about?

A Wavier jet stream is a critical feature in mid-latitudes inducing extreme weathers such as flooding and drought. As the zonal mean flow is reduced, a small-amplitude response confined near the surface shifts to a large-amplitude response reaching the upper atmosphere.

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Why is it important?

The Arctic Ocean warms faster than other areas as global warming continues due to ice-albedo feedback. The reduced temperature difference between the Arctic and the tropics can lead to slower zonal mean wind in mid-latitudes. This research suggests a theoretical mechanism showing that slower zonal mean winds can induce a wavier jet stream in mid-latitudes. Hence, it implies that ongoing global warming can be strongly related to extreme weather such as flooding and wildfire. This research provides a theoretical background to confirm that current extreme weather can be induced by global warming.


We always suspect that recent summer flooding and drought are related to global warming. However, it is hard to find logic based on geophysical fluid dynamics, a cornerstone of climate science. Many claims emphasizing the danger of global warming leading to extreme weather are based on observation and model simulations without a specific theoretical explanation. This is not enough to give strong messages to society. The research is different from others because it provides a theory to connect extreme weather to global warming. I hope our research will be used to prove the relationship between extreme weather and human-induced global warming from now on.

Woosok Moon
Pukyong National University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Wavier jet streams driven by zonally asymmetric surface thermal forcing, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, September 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2200890119.
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