Recent global trends in atmospheric fronts

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Abstract

An automated, objective method is used to identify atmospheric fronts in four independent reanalysis data sets for the period 1989-2009 and to calculate changes in their frequency. The analysis highlights several coherent regions of statistically significant change in the frequency of fronts. The front frequency in the North Atlantic storm track has decreased by about 10-20 , whereas changes observed over the Southern Ocean are relatively small. In the subtropical Pacific the front frequency has increased significantly, which is consistent with an expansion of the dry subtropics. The sensitivity of these trends to the detection method is tested and the results are found to be robust. The results provide a concise summary of the recent changes in a major component of synoptic weather conditions, providing a benchmark for climate models as well as an additional tool for interpreting climate change predictions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 6
Number of pages6
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume38
Issue numberL21812
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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