PAOC Colloquium: Elizabeth Barnes (Colorado State)

Elizabeth Barnes (Colorado State)
Monday, March 5, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Causal Links Between the Arctic and the Midlatitude Jet-streams

The Arctic has been warming rapidly over the past few decades, raising the question of how polar warming may impact the weather in lower latitudes. Here, we apply causal discovery techniques (e.g. Granger causality) to quantify the sensitivity of the jet-streams to variations in Arctic temperatures on subseasonal timescales using 4800 years of CMIP5 model simulations. These causal discovery techniques allow us to quantify the jet-stream sensitivity in the presence of feedbacks, as well as assess seasonal and regional sensitivities. A further benefit of this approach is that we can make direct comparisons of the sensitivities between observations and models, as well as across many models, and here we demonstrate that model differences in the mean-state circulation can lead to differences in the jet-stream response to Arctic temperature variability.

While this talk is focused on the causal links between Arctic warming and the midlatitude atmospheric circulation, we hope it also highlights the relevance and utility of causal discovery techniques for atmospheric dynamics research.

About the Speaker

My primary research objective is to understand the variability of the atmosphere to better interpret and predict its behavior over a range of timescales and climates. My research focuses include large-scale atmospheric dynamics, subseasonal-to-seasonal prediction of extreme events, atmospheric mixing/transport, and the influence of atmospheric circulations on air quality and human health.

About this Series

The PAOC Colloquium is a weekly interdisciplinary seminar series that brings together the whole PAOC community. Seminar topics include all research concerning the physics, chemistry, and biology of the atmospheres, oceans and climate, but also talks about e.g. societal impacts of climatic processes. The seminars generally take place on Monday from 12-1pm. Lunch is provided to encourage students and post-docs to meet with the speaker. Besides the seminar and lunch, individual meetings with professors, post-docs, and students are arranged.