University of Cambridge > > BAS Atmosphere, Ice and Climate Seminars > Understanding​ the Processes that Drive Surface Temperature Variability

Understanding​ the Processes that Drive Surface Temperature Variability

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  • UserDavid Thompson (School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia and the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University)
  • ClockThursday 09 June 2022, 14:00-15:00
  • HouseBAS Cambridge Seminar Room 1 and Zoom.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ryan Williams, rywill.

In this talk I will provide highlights of two different – but overlapping – research topics. Both relate to the processes that drive surface temperature variability, and both have broad implications for understanding climate variability and change at high latitudes.

In the first part I will focus on the role of ocean dynamics in driving sea-surface temperature variability. The key conclusion is that ocean dynamics act – in the net – to damp rather than drive low-frequency sea-surface temperature variability. The upshot is that observed decadal variability – including that in the high latitude oceans – is due primarily to atmospheric processes and would be larger in the absence of ocean dynamics.

In the second part I will focus on changes in temperature persistence under climate change, again highlighting results over the mid-high latitudes. Here the key finding is that temperature persistence is certain to change across the globe, and that the signs of the changes depend critically on various physical processes. Some of the largest changes are found over regions of sea-ice. I will argue that one key but overlooked process is the changes in surface temperature damping timescales under climate change.

This talk is part of the BAS Atmosphere, Ice and Climate Seminars series.

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