SacreX - Atmospheric circulation and its relation to extreme weather

Shifts in large-scale circulation patterns can strongly alter the frequency and/or intensity of extremes and can thus have severe humanitarian impacts. Climate change over the last century has already altered some large scale circulation patterns but the uncertainties are large. This research aims to reduce uncertainties by providing fundamental insights in the general circulation, its modes of variability, and its extremes.

Project Objectives
The junior research group studies the sensitivity of large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns on internal atmosphere-dynamical processes and forcings arising from changes in surface boundary conditions. Both extra-tropical circulation, like stormtracks and Rossby waves, as well as tropical circulation are examined. The goal is to quantify atmospheric teleconnections, internal atmosphere-dynamical and surface-atmosphere feedbacks, and the impact these have on extreme weather events. New data analysis techniques are applied to both novel atmospheric datasets and GCM results to quantify teleconnections. Further, numerical experiments are conducted to understand feedback processes using a hierarchy of modeling techniques: From statistical-dynamical atmosphere, to atmosphere general circulation, to fully-coupled Earth system models.

Project Management
Dr. Dim Coumou
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam
Tel.: +49 331 288 2442


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