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The Music in the Noise

Identifying the Jet Stream Response to Human Activity
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
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The atmosphere is a chaotic place to measure trends. The chaos, or “noise” of the atmosphere can confound our ability to quantify the atmospheric response to human activity. Specifically, this talk focuses on the responses of atmospheric jet-streams (regions of air ~7 miles up that move quickly from west-to-east) to two types of human activity: (1) pollution that led to the Ozone Hole and (2) Arctic sea ice loss driven, in part, by greenhouse gases. While the impacts of the Ozone Hole on the Southern Hemisphere jet-stream are clear in atmospheric observations, the impacts of Arctic sea ice loss on the Northern Hemisphere jet-stream are less clear. This talk concludes by looking to the future to see whether the impacts of a recovering Ozone Hole and continued melting of Arctic sea ice will emerge from the “noise” in the coming decades.