Limited polar low sensitivity to sea-surface temperature

Linders, T.; Saetra, Ø.; Bracegirdle, Thomas J. ORCID: 2011 Limited polar low sensitivity to sea-surface temperature. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 137 (654 Part A). 58-69.

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The sensitivity of the intensity of polar lows to changes in the sea-surface temperature (SST) is investigated. This is done by using an axisymmetric non-hydrostatic numerical model. It is found that the intensity of the simulated polar lows responds linearly to SST perturbations, with positive perturbations leading to deeper sea-level pressure (SLP) depressions and higher azimuthal winds. The numerical simulations give an SLP depression sensitivity of only about −0.6 hPa K−1 and a sensitivity of the maximum azimuthal wind of only about +0.6 m s−1 K−1. This is about one order of magnitude less than the sensitivity of the theoretical maximum intensity. It is suggested that the very limited sensitivity can be explained within the wind-induced surface heat exchange (WISHE) theory. The limited sensitivity can thus be attributed, in roughly equal parts, to the limited efficiency with which the polar low extracts heat from the ocean and the limited mean height of the convection.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Polar Science for Planet Earth (2009 - ) > Climate
ISSN: 0035-9009
Additional Keywords: air–sea interaction; convection
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 04 Mar 2011 15:21 +0 (UTC)

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