A Study of Changes in Atmospheric Blocking Statistics in Response to Global Warming Using GFDL GCMs

Hosts: Ming Zhao and Steve Garner

Atmospheric blocking events are middle-latitude, high-pressure systems that stay in place for days or even weeks. Depending on when and where they develop, blocking events can cause extreme weather upstream, in situ, and downstream, including droughts or heavy precipitation and heat waves or cold spells. A recent study has examined GFDL models' simulation of atmospheric blocking statistics over the historical period. The models capture reasonably well the observed blocking statistics despite significant regional biases. This new project attempts to explore how the atmospheric blocking events may change under global warming scenarios. It may include analysis of changes in blocking location, frequency, intensity, and duration in the present and warmer climate simulations. The project will also involve porting and rewriting some of the existing blocking detection code from Fortran to Python so that it can be incorporated into the GFDL's automatic diagnostic package. No knowledge of Fortran is required; experience with Python will be helpful.