P1.15 The underlying synoptic scale variability of the Amundsen - Bellingshausen Seas low

Monday, 2 May 2011
Rooftop Ballroom (15th Floor) (Omni Parker House )
Ryan A. Langen, Ohio University, Athens, OH; and R. L. Fogt and A. J. Wovrosh

Dramatic warming along the coast of West Antarctica has demonstrated the need for analysis on atmospheric causal mechanisms in this region. This warming trend in the region is likely a reflection of the Amundsen – Bellingshausen Seas Low (ABSL; 45°S - 75°S, 180° - 60°W). The variability of the ABSL is still virtually undiscovered, especially the connection to the underlying synoptic-scale variability. Individual cyclones are analyzed in the region using the University of Melbourne automated cyclone tracking scheme in three atmospheric reanalysis datasets. We find little change in total cyclone activity in the region in all three datasets. Cyclones are observed more frequently in the Ross Sea, despite the fact the climatological ABSL is stronger east of this during much of the year. Their central pressures reflect the large-scale variations in pressure. We also note an increase in total cyclone counts and an overall increase in the intensity of the cyclones in the region of the ABSL. Unfortunately, remarkably large differences in terms of individual cyclones exist between the datasets, making it hard to understand the true underlying variability. Future research will analyze other cyclone statistical parameters to provide a stronger understanding between synoptic scale and more long-term scales in this region. Understanding of the variability of the ABSL will provide more critical connections between local impacts and the Antarctic climate as a whole.
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