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Atmospheric circulation compounds anthropogenic warming and extreme climate impacts in Europe

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Abstract

Diagnosing dynamical changes in the climate system, such as those in atmospheric circulation patterns, remains challenging. Here, we study 1950-2021 trends in the frequency of occurrence of atmospheric circulation patterns over the North Atlantic. Roughly 7% of atmospheric circulation patterns display significant occurrence trends, yet they have major impacts on surface climate. Increasingly frequent patterns drive heatwaves across Europe, and enhanced wintertime storminess in the northern part of the continent. Over 91% of recent heatwave-related deaths and 33% of high-impact windstorms in Europe were concurrent with increasingly frequent atmospheric circulation patterns. Atmospheric patterns which are becoming rarer correspond instead to wet, cool summer conditions over northern Europe and wet winter conditions over continental Europe. The combined effect of these circulation changes is that of a strong, dynamically-driven year-round warming over most of the continent and large regional and seasonal changes in precipitation and surface wind.
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Dates and versions

hal-03456537 , version 1 (30-11-2021)
hal-03456537 , version 2 (07-07-2022)

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-03456537 , version 2

Cite

Davide Faranda, Gabriele Messori, Aglaé Jézéquel, Mathieu Vrac, Pascal Yiou. Atmospheric circulation compounds anthropogenic warming and extreme climate impacts in Europe. 2022. ⟨hal-03456537v2⟩
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