Jet stream moved northwards 270 miles in 22 years; climate change to blame?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:11 PM GMT on June 05, 2008

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Climate change is forcing the jet stream higher and closer to the pole in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, according research published this April in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. In their paper, "Historical trends in the jet streams", researchers Cristina Archer and Ken Caldeira of Stanford's Carnegie Institution of Washington analyzed data from 1979-2001, and found that the Northern Hemisphere jet stream moved northward at approximately 125 miles per decade (270 miles during the 22-year period of the study). The jet moved higher by 5-23 meters during this period, and the wind speeds decreased by about 1 mph. Archer and Caldeira's study confirms other research showing a poleward movement of the jet stream in recent decades (Fu et al., 2006; Hu and Fu, 2007). All of these changes are consistent with the behavior of the jet stream predicted by global warming theory. For example, Lorenz and DeWeaver (2007) found poleward shifts of the jet stream by 2100 in the forecasts of 15 climate models used to formulate the "official" word on climate, the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) report. However, the authors were careful not to say how much of this shift in the jet stream was due to natural causes versus human-caused climate change. It is unknown if the jet stream has natural decades-long changes in its path that could account for the observed poleward shift.


Figure 1. The jet stream is located where the strongest winds at the top of the troposphere are found (35,000-45,000 feet high, 200-300 mb in pressure).

Archer and Caldeira note that "These changes in jet stream latitude, altitude, and strength have likely affected, and perhaps will continue to affect, the formation and evolution of storms in the mid-latitudes and of hurricanes in the sub-tropical regions." They don't specify what these changes might be. There is very little research that has been done suggesting how changes in the jet stream might affect hurricane formation and strength. One effect we may begin to see in coming decades is a reduction and/or delay in the number of hurricanes that recurve northward out to sea. Recurvature occurs when a hurricane begins to "feel" the westerly winds of the jet stream. As the jet stream continues to move northward and weaken as the globe warms, we can expect that hurricanes moving though the Caribbean will be less likely to recurve, resulting in more hurricane strikes in Mexico and Central America. Unfortunately, the quality of the Atlantic hurricane database for non-U.S. landfalls is not very good, and it will be several decades before we will be able to tell if the number of hurricane landfalls in Mexico and Central America is increasing due to a poleward shift in the jet stream.

References
Fu, Q., C. M. Johanson, J. M. Wallace, and T. Reichler (2006), Enhanced mid-latitude tropospheric warming in satellite measurements, Science, 312, 1179, doi:10.1126/science.1125566.

Hu, Y., and Q. Fu (2007), Observed poleward expansion of the Hadley circulation since 1979, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Disc., 7, 9367.9384.

Lorenz, D. J., and E. T. DeWeaver (2007), Tropopause height and zonal wind response to global warming in the IPCC scenario integrations, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D10119, doi:10.1029/2006JD008087.

Jeff Masters

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1014. Weather456
5:26 PM AST on June 07, 2008
good afternoon all
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1013. moonlightcowboy
4:24 PM CDT on June 07, 2008
978. Thanks for the update, Pearland.

...of course, what it keeps the AGW advocates at bay, it also means more fuel consumption will be needed and prices will continue to increase as well. UGH!
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1012. pearlandaggie
9:24 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
1002. by the way, i concur with your logic.
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1011. pearlandaggie
9:19 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
kind of snippy in here this afternoon....
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1010. cchsweatherman
4:41 PM EDT on June 07, 2008
Unless there's anything new or major that occurs, I will not be on the blogs tomorrow.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
1009. cchsweatherman
4:36 PM EDT on June 07, 2008
Amazing what people can deduce from one four-word comment. In my comment, I'm just looking for more convection for better rain coverage for Southern and Central Florida on Sunday and Monday, not any development. By the way, I wonder how the ULL will affect the dynamics over South Florida. Wouldn't be surprised to see some strong storms pop on Sunday and Monday when the ULL moves over the region since there will be some cold air aloft.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
1008. TEXASYANKEE43
8:32 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
I think It's good that we haven't tapped the North slope yet. Lets continue to use the Arabs oil till it runs out. It's like money in the bank.
Arabs run out of oil = richest cat box in the world.
Tapping our reserves = We've got all the oil.
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1007. Drakoen
8:32 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
That upper level low has little surface reflection as seen on the Cuban radar. Only in the deeper convective bands in precipitation falling to the surface most likely enhanced by the diffluent flow aloft and daytime heating overland as seen over eastern Cuba. Also I wouldn't rule out a bit of orographic lift in the mountainous regions.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30674
1006. WeatherfanPR
8:22 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
everything's quiet for now, nothing out there to be concerned about it.
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1005. Levi32
12:30 PM AKDT on June 07, 2008
That system east of the Bahamas is just a TUTT.....no threat for development whatsoever.
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1004. Stoopid1
8:27 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
ULL looks more better today, but lacks heavy convection. Looks like it's trying to get to the surface, but I'm doubting it has time to develop into a subtropical depression. Conditions in the area are good; warm water, low shear, no dry air. Time is the one thing against it as far as Atlantic development goes. Does anyone think it has a chance in the gulf, or will the dry air kill it like I think it will?
Member Since: August 6, 2007 Posts: 24 Comments: 2755
1003. Snowfire
8:29 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
Re 1001: that appears to be an upper-level feature with nothing on the surface yet. Striking-looking on the animation, though.
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1002. ajcamsmom2
3:22 PM CDT on June 07, 2008
OK, I think that if we would go ahead and allow drilling and build a few more places to refine it in the US, we would be a lot better off. In the meantime, we should continue to develop alternate fuel sources. Also, I think we should continue to build up our Nation's oil reserves and strengthen our armed forces. So, go ahead and hate me, but, I felt a lot safer during the cold war then I do now...
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1001. cchsweatherman
4:08 PM EDT on June 07, 2008
Not much convection yet.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
1000. Patrap
3:03 PM CDT on June 07, 2008
The Atlantic WV and the ULL Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129352
999. hurricane23
3:48 PM EDT on June 07, 2008
As i stated a few minutes ago when your responsible for rent,car,food just to name a few expenses it really begins to put a hurt on your wallet.

Hope your haveing a great weekend Andy.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
998. severstorm
3:44 PM EDT on June 07, 2008
hey nash28 hows ya doing still no rain here in z-hills still waiting!!!!!
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997. help4u
7:42 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
Everyone will find out after election.Tax the rich to equal out the pain.45trillion the cost to stop global warming.Someone has to pay,the big companies and rich can do it.
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996. Patrap
2:43 PM CDT on June 07, 2008
"Climate Change Shifts Jet Stream"

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129352
995. severstorm
3:40 PM EDT on June 07, 2008
help4u...you must be a bum that found a computer in the trash can and also dont work so you dont have to worry weather or not gas goes to outragious prices
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994. nash28
7:41 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
And this isn't about GW. It's about the market.
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993. Patrap
2:40 PM CDT on June 07, 2008
Towers in the Tempest.

Quicktime Movie 640x360 (30 fps) MPEG-4 49 MB Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129352
992. nash28
7:41 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
Help4u- When you have a solution that is actually doable, let us know.
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991. Patrap
2:39 PM CDT on June 07, 2008
For more information:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/... Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129352
989. Patrap
2:39 PM CDT on June 07, 2008


A hurricane's "hot towers" can increase its intensity by adding power to boost the storm's heat engine. For the first time, research meteorologists have run complex simulations of these phenomena using a very fine temporal resolution. They have combined this new simulation data with satellite observations to study the innerworking of the "hot towers" in never-before-seen detail.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129352
986. hurricane23
3:33 PM EDT on June 07, 2008
982. help4u 3:32 PM EDT on June 07, 2008
Hope they keep going up.That will stop global warming.

When your responsible for rent,car,food just to name a few expenses it really begins to put a hurt on your wallet.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
985. nash28
7:36 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
If we had gotten with the program over a decade ago with our OWN resouces as well as nuclear power, we wouldn't be bending over to the dirty Arabs now would we?

Wanna blame someone? Blame the Congress. Both present and past.
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984. Patrap
2:36 PM CDT on June 07, 2008
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129352
983. nash28
7:35 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
Help4u- Huh??? Want to quantify that statement?
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981. Levi32
11:29 AM AKDT on June 07, 2008
980. hurricane23 11:26 AM AKDT on June 07, 2008 Hide this comment.
Afternoon.....

Just took a drive around the neirborhood with the wife and iam still in shock on how gas prices just continue to go up just around the corner of the house regular unleaded gas is $4.14 with plus at $4.23 iam afraid come august/september we will hit 6 or 7 dollar gas prices.There is NO end in sight. Adrian


I hear yah......unleaded up here is 4.74.....plus at 4.93.....diesel at 4.97.....it's horrid.
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980. hurricane23
3:22 PM EDT on June 07, 2008
Afternoon.....

Just took a drive around the neirborhood with the wife and iam still in shock on how gas prices just continue to go up just around the corner of the house regular unleaded gas is $4.14 with plus at $4.23 iam afraid come august/september we will hit 6 or 7 dollar gas prices.There is NO end in sight. Adrian
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
979. pearlandaggie
7:18 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
that crazy dry air in the GoM is good for suppressing tropical activity, but the pressure gradient is generating some fairly large waves for this time of year.....
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978. pearlandaggie
7:14 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
if SC24 is going to start in June (as predicted), then the sun had better get with the program!

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977. chessrascal
3:15 PM EDT on June 07, 2008
I hope this ULL brings a LOT of rain because we need it here. Had a little bit yesterday but still pretty dry.

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976. condesa
7:15 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
gotta watch that diet pepsi, alright.
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975. pottery
3:14 PM AST on June 07, 2008
exactly, indulgence, mostly over indulgence.
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974. franck
7:11 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
Oh yep..thought it had something to do with baccus..indulgence.
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973. franck
7:07 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
...need to look up bacchanal.
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972. pottery
3:05 PM AST on June 07, 2008
Ken, from earlier posts, that is an Upper Level Low, that may bring some rains to Bahama and Florida.
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971. pottery
2:55 PM AST on June 07, 2008
`Surfmom. The mangos for chutney have to be full, but not quite ripe. Here we have many many diff. types of mango, mostly brought here by the East Indians 150 yrs ago, when they were brought here by the British, on the Abolition of slavery, to work on the sugar estates.
The population of Trinidad&Tobago ( one Nation, 2 Islands), is about 48% African, 48% East Indian, 4% everyone else. ( Portugese, Lebanese, Chinese, European, FrenchCreole, etc, etc,) Pop. aprox 1.5 mil.

Its a great mix of cultures, religions, attitudes and bacchanal.
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970. kdkinc
6:57 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
Anyone have a comment on the air circulation at
23n 72w near the Bahamas.
Maybe I've to much diet pepsi but its looking active ??

ken
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969. weathers4me
6:45 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
We had .7" last night here in Terra Ceia. Very nice soaking. We'll take anything.
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968. InTheCone
2:36 PM EDT on June 07, 2008
963.

WOW!! That's the craziest thing I've heard yet!
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967. surfmom
6:20 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
Pottery your mangoes are already ripe? here in sarasota my Tommy Akins tree is loaded with a bumper crop this year. Hoping we get rain so she doesn't drop her fruit. Mine won't be ready for another two months +/-. My Hayden is rockin' also
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966. surfmom
6:13 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
just back from the beach SRQ/Gomex - happy to report No jellies...yet. There was though a surprise mini swell that for just a brief period of time was longboardable on this one sandbar I know about. I only caught the swell cause the board was in the car. probably a few other spots --can't imagine it was swell from condesa's area but maybe --will have to go check out some surf sites. The gulf was glorious & it was good to have a break from work/horses --now it's domestics
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965. condesa
6:10 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
LALOL
I know; it's so sad. I also find it mind boggling.
Sounds like the warning from last Sunday- from the bishop- "go home, put your things in plastic bags and pray."
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964. chessrascal
2:11 PM EDT on June 07, 2008
Africa is starting to get more activity:

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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