A Study of Frontal-Scale Air-Sea Interaction Along the Gulf Stream Extension Using A High-Resolution Coupled Regional Climate
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The Gulf Stream Extension (GSE) region has been identified as a key location in the extratropics where sea surface temperature variability may induce considerable atmospheric variability, raising the intriguing possibility of significant midlatitude air-sea interaction. The Principal Investigators (PIs) plan to carry out very high-resolution coupled regional climate model simulations in the Atlantic domain, using horizontal grid resolution as fine as 3 km in nested sub-regions over the GSE. At these resolutions, important aspects of atmospheric convection and oceanic eddies are explicitly resolved and frontal-scale ocean-atmosphere interaction along the Gulf Stream can be directly examined. The PIs will examine the following scientific questions: (i) To what extent can climate model biases in the GSE region affect simulations and predictions of regional climate variability in the North Atlantic? (ii) Can the strong thermal front of the Gulf Stream affect the Atlantic storm tracks? If so, how does synoptic-scale atmospheric variability interact with the ocean and what are the feedback mechanisms between the atmosphere and ocean at small spatial scales? (iii) Can shifts in the Gulf Stream in response to changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) changes produce a significant atmospheric response? If so, what are the dynamical processes responsible for such a response? The broader impacts of this activity are substantial: the research will enhance our understanding of the uncertainties in projecting the impact of global climate change on the Atlantic region, which has important social and economic consequences for countries in the region.