EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Winds > Boundary Layer Winds
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This dataset documents the trends and variability in the latitude and strength of the belt of lower-atmosphere westerly winds over the Southern Ocean, referred to as the ''westerly jet''. Time series of annual mean and seasonal diagnostics are available for the period 1979-present, specifically time series of seasonal and annual mean jet latitude and strength. The diagnostics are derived from the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) ERA-Interim reanalysis (for more information see www.ecmwf.int and Dee et al. (2011)), which is an observationally-constrained reconstruction of atmospheric conditions. The broad characterisation of the westerly winds into these simple diagnostics has been found to be useful for understanding long-term climate change due to contrasting drivers of change and impacts on other aspects of the climate system. This is an index of winds around the full circumference of all longitudes at Southern Hemisphere middle latitudes. The exact latitude depends on the position of the jet at any given time, but on average the jet (the core of the westerlies) is located at approximately 52 deg S.
High-resolution simulation of summer climate over West Antarctica using the Polar-optimised version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model conducted at British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK. Runs are conducted for summer (January-centred) 1980-2015, i.e. from December 1979 to February 2015, for December, January and February (DJF). Experiments were carried out for the NERC West Antarctic Grant (NE/K00445X/1) during 2014-2017. The project is aimed at understanding the variability and climatology over the West Antarctic ice sheet and ice shelves as well as to project the future change over the twenty-first century. The model outer domain encompasses the West Antarctic ice sheet and a large part of the surrounding ocean at 45 km horizontal grid spacing, and the nested (one-way) inner domain covers the Amundsen Sea Embayment at 15 km grid spacing. The model uses vertical eta coordinates with both domains have a model top of 50 hPa, and 30 vertical levels.