Future Reductions in Polar Cold Air Mass and Cold Air Outbreaks Revealed From Isentropic Analysis

Yuki Kanno, Toshiki Iwasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study quantifies future changes in the polar cold air mass (PCAM) below a threshold potential temperature of 280 K and its horizontal fluxes, which are an indicator for the intensity of cold air outbreaks, by analyzing the outputs from five climate models from the Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. Under the business-as-usual scenario, the multimodel means of the wintertime total hemispheric PCAM decrease by 37% in the Northern Hemisphere and by 34% in the Southern Hemisphere by the end of the 21st century. The midlatitude equatorward PCAM fluxes are projected to decrease significantly by around 2050. This is primarily due to the reduction of the PCAM and to a lesser extent due to the weakening of the extratropical meridional circulation. Finally, intermodel differences in the total hemispheric PCAM reduction are shown to be linearly related to the climate sensitivity to the global mean surface air temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2019GL086076
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 16


  • climate change
  • cold air outbreak
  • isentropic analysis
  • meridional circulation
  • polar cold air mass
  • polar region

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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