The project aims to answer two questions:
Q1. What are the key stages and dynamical drivers of the high temperature events along coastal Antarctica?
Q2. To what extent is projected climate change linked to high temperature events?
These two questions will be addressed by undertaking the following research tasks:
T1. Categorise past high temperature extreme events in terms of in terms of magnitude, duration, frequency, and regional variation using ERA5 reanalysis stored by the JASMIN super-data-cluster. The influences of blocking and moist transfer in enhancing such events will be investigated. Meteorological observations from the Antarctic stations assembled by the READER project of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) will be used for validation.
T2. Undertake case studies to elucidate the life cycle of representative high temperature events for a few selected regions using and further developing the existing diagnostics (Byrne et al. 2018; Turner et al. 2021). Emphasis will be placed upon the dynamical processes that can be captured by potential vorticity advection, moist eddy transfer, latent heat release, and associated vertical motion.
T3. Perform model simulations to better understand the life cycle of high temperature events analysed via T2 using the nested configuration of the UK Met Office Unified Model with high-resolution (~5-10 km). Analyse and compare the model output against ERA5 reanalysis and station-based observations.
T4. Develop regional ‘fingerprints’ between the key meteorological variables affecting the high temperature events and the broader-scale circulation patterns based on knowledge obtained from T1-T3. Identify the key factors that have led to certain cluster / behaviour of high temperature events and their interannual to multidecadal variability.
T5. Linking high temperature events to climate trends. Because large samples are needed to achieve statistical significance, the linkage cannot be reliably assessed based on observations. This task will utilize the output from the High Resolution Model Intercomparison Project (HighResMIP) of The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6 (CMIP6) with future climate scenarios to estimate climate change impact on the high temperature events in the context of anthropocentric contribution, natural variability, model and scenario uncertainty.
T1-T3 aim to answer Q1 and T4-5 will answer Q2.