Sunday, 23 January 2011
Dramatic warming along the coast of West Antarctica has demonstrated the need for analysis on atmospheric causal mechanisms in this region. This warming trend 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, along with the top ten cyclones, are analyzed in the region using the University of Melbourne automated cyclone tracking scheme in three atmospheric reanalysis datasets. Although there is a highly variable nature of the magnitude and location of the climatological ABSL, the top ten cyclones tend to cluster around its location. We also note an increase in total cyclone counts in the region of the ABSL, with evidence that midlatitude large-scale circulation anomalies affect the movement and magnitude of these cyclones, especially the top ten strongest. Future research will analyze cyclone statistical parameters, to provide a stronger understanding between synoptic scale and more long-term scales. 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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