Jennifer Francis

Jennifer Francis
Woodwell Climate Research Center | WHRC

Ph.D. At. Sci., U. Washington

About

111
Publications
33,947
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
10,223
Citations

Publications

Publications (111)
Article
Full-text available
The term “weather whiplash” was recently coined to describe abrupt swings in weather conditions from one extreme to another, such as from a prolonged, frigid cold spell to anomalous warmth or from drought to heavy precipitation. These events are often highly disruptive to agriculture, ecosystems, and daily activities. In this study, we propose and...
Article
Full-text available
Arctic warming and its association with the mid-latitudes have been hot topic over the past two decades. Although many studies have explored these issues it is not clear that how their linkage has changed over time. The results show that winter low tropospheric temperatures in Asia experienced two phases over the past two decades. Phase I (2007/200...
Article
Full-text available
Pronounced changes in the Arctic environment add a new potential driver of anomalous weather patterns in midlatitudes that affect billions of people. Recent studies of these Arctic/midlatitude weather linkages, however, state inconsistent conclusions. A source of uncertainty arises from the chaotic nature of the atmosphere. Thermodynamic forcing by...
Article
Full-text available
One of the clearest indicators of human-caused climate change is the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice. The summer minimum coverage is now approximately half of its extent only 40 yr ago. Four records in the minimum extent were broken since 2000, the most recent occurring in September 2012. No new records have been set since then, however, owing to a...
Article
Full-text available
Extreme weather events in Asia have been occurring with increasing frequency as the globe warms in response to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases. Many of these events arise from weather regimes that persist over a region for days or even weeks, resulting in disruptive heatwaves, droughts, flooding, snowfalls, and cold spells. We investigate...
Article
Full-text available
The Arctic has warmed more than twice as fast as the global average since the late twentieth century, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification (AA). Recently, there have been considerable advances in understanding the physical contributions to AA, and progress has been made in understanding the mechanisms that link it to midlatitude weather varia...
Article
The Arctic has warmed more than twice as fast as the global average since the late 20th century, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification (AA). Recently, there have been significant advances in understanding the physical contributions to AA and progress has been made in understanding the mechanisms linking AA to mid-latitude weather variability....
Article
Full-text available
Horizontal thermal advection plays an especially prominent role in affecting winter climate over continental interiors, where both climatological conditions and extreme weather are strongly regulated by transport of remote air masses. Interior North America is one such region, and it experiences occasional cold-air outbreaks (CAOs) that may be rela...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate factors influencing European winter (DJFM) air temperatures for the period 1979‐2015 with the focus on changes during the recent period of rapid Arctic warming (1998‐2015). We employ meteorological reanalyses analysed with a combination of correlation analysis, two pattern clustering techniques, and back‐trajectory airmass identifica...
Article
Full-text available
The declining trend of Arctic September sea ice constitutes a significant change in the Arctic climate system. Large year-to-year variations are superimposed on this sea–ice trend, with the largest variability observed in the eastern Arctic Ocean. Knowledge of the processes important for this variability may lead to an improved understanding of sea...
Article
Full-text available
During recent years, the rapidly warming Arctic and its impact on winter weather and climate variability in the mid- and low-latitudes have been the focus of many research efforts. In contrast, anomalous cool Arctic summers and their impacts on the large-scale circulation have received little attention. In this study, we use atmospheric re-analysis...
Article
Rapid Arctic warming is hypothesized to favor an increased persistence of regional weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere (Francis & Vavrus, 2012). Persistent conditions can lead to drought, heat waves, prolonged cold spells, and storminess that can cost millions of dollars in damage and disrupt societal and ecosystem norms. This study defines...
Article
The “Warm‐Arctic/Cold‐continents” (WACC) winter weather pattern is investigated using the European Centre for Medium‐Range Weather Forecasts 20th Century reanalysis data (ERA20C) spanning 1901–2010. Both the 1920–1940 and 1990–2010 periods are characterized by Arctic amplification (AA) and mid‐latitude continental cooling, although the Arctic warmi...
Article
Full-text available
Recent boreal winters have exhibited a large-scale seesaw temperature pattern characterized by an unusually warm Arctic and cold continents. Whether there is any physical link between Arctic variability and Northern Hemisphere (NH) extreme weather is an active area of research. Using a recently developed index of severe winter weather, we show that...
Article
Full-text available
Through both observational analyses and simulation experiments, this study investigates the intraseasonal evolution of atmospheric circulation anomalies associated with a persistent cold event in the Asian continent during late January to early February 2012, and the possible association with Arctic sea-ice loss and Arctic atmospheric circulation d...
Article
Full-text available
Shifting weather patterns, particularly increasing extreme events, are observed in populous midlatitudes, and connections to climate change are becoming clearer. The specific roles of rapid Arctic warming and sea ice loss in this story are a topic of intense research and controversy. Instead of converging on answers however, the science seems as un...
Article
The Arctic is warming and melting at alarming rates. Within the lifetime of a Millennial, the volume of ice floating on the Arctic Ocean has declined by at least half. The pace of Arctic warming is two-to-three times that of the globe; this disparity reached a new record high during 2016. While the Arctic spans only a small fraction of the Earth, i...
Article
Full-text available
This study tests the hypothesis that Arctic amplification (AA) of global warming remotely affects midlatitudes by promoting a weaker, wavier atmospheric circulation conducive to extreme weather. The investigation is based on the late twenty-first century over greater North America (20°-90°N, 50°-160°W) using 40 simulations from the Community Earth...
Article
Full-text available
Are continuing changes in the Arctic influencing wind patterns and the occurrence of extreme weather events in northern mid-latitudes? The chaotic nature of atmospheric circulation precludes easy answers. The topic is a major science challenge, as continued Arctic temperature increases are an inevitable aspect of anthropogenic climate change. We pr...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates the relationship between the summer [June–July–August (JJA)] Arctic dipole wind pattern and the following winter [December–January–February (DJF)] Siberian High. It is found that the summer Arctic dipole wind pattern is not confined only to the Arctic region; it spans the large domain north of 20°N. The negative phase of thi...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Columbia Climate Center, in partnership with World Wildlife Fund, Woods Hole Research Center, and Arctic 21, held a workshop titled A 5 C Arctic in a 2 C World on July 20 and 21, 2016. The workshop was co-sponsored by the International Arctic Research Center (University of Alaska Fairbanks), the Arctic Institute of North America (Canada), the M...
Article
The pace of Arctic warming is about double that at lower latitudes - a robust phenomenon known as Arctic amplification. Many diverse climate processes and feedbacks cause Arctic amplification, including positive feedbacks associated with diminished sea ice. However, the precise contribution of sea-ice loss to Arctic amplification remains uncertain....
Article
Full-text available
In recent decades, the Greenland ice sheet has experienced increased surface melt. However, the underlying cause of this increased surface melting and how it relates to cryospheric changes across the Arctic remain unclear. Here it is shown that an important contributing factor is the decreasing Arctic sea ice. Reduced summer sea ice favors stronger...
Article
Full-text available
The potential of recent Arctic changes to influence hemispheric weather is a complex and controversial topic with considerable uncertainty, as time series of potential linkages are short (,10 yr) and understanding involves the relative contribution of direct forcing by Arctic changes on a chaotic climatic system. A way forward is through further in...
Article
Full-text available
Screen et al (2015 Environ. Res. Lett. 10 084006) find that model simulations forced by past and future Arctic sea-ice conditions provide robust evidence that a variety of extreme weather events both within and beyond the Arctic will be affected by changing sea-ice conditions.
Article
Full-text available
The effects of rapid Arctic warming and ice loss on weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere is a topic of active research, lively scientific debate and high societal impact. The emergence of Arctic amplification-the enhanced sensitivity of high-latitude temperature to global warming-in only the last 10-20 years presents a challenge to identifyi...
Article
Full-text available
The potential of recent Arctic changes to influence hemispheric weather is a complex and controversial topic with considerable uncertainty, as time series of potential linkages are short (<10 yr) and understanding involves the relative contribution of direct forcing by Arctic changes on a chaotic climatic system. A way forward is through further in...
Article
Full-text available
New metrics and evidence are presented that support a linkage between rapid Arctic warming, relative to Northern hemisphere mid-latitudes, and more frequent high-amplitude (wavy) jet-stream configurations that favor persistent weather patterns. We find robust relationships among seasonal and regional patterns of weaker poleward thickness gradients,...
Article
Full-text available
The Arctic region has warmed more than twice as fast as the global average - a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification. The rapid Arctic warming has contributed to dramatic melting of Arctic sea ice and spring snow cover, at a pace greater than that simulated by climate models. These profound changes to the Arctic system have coincided with a peri...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this presentation, I will build on analysis presented in Francis and Vavrus (GRL, 2012) in which mechanisms were proposed and demonstrated that link enhanced warming in the Arctic during recent decades -- Arctic amplification -- with changes in the trajectory of the upper-level flow in mid-latitudes. Evidence will be presented that suggests Arct...
Article
Full-text available
The past decade has seen an exceptional number of unprecedented summer extreme weather events in northern mid-latitudes, along with record declines in both summer Arctic sea ice and snow cover on high-latitude land. The underlying mechanisms that link the shrinking cryosphere with summer extreme weather, however, remain unclear. Here, we combine sa...
Article
Full-text available
Summer precipitation in northern Europe has been above average for each of the past six years (2007-2012), a pattern that is unprecedented in over a century. During these same years, the summer Arctic sea-ice cover has averaged about 40% below its typical extent prior to the 1950s and set two new record minima. Could there be a connection? This is...
Article
We explore annual and seasonal changes in moist static energy transport (MSE) into the Arctic over the 21st century as projected by the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate System Model, version 3. Self-organizing maps are used to assess changes in MSE and its components - the latent heat flux and dry static energy flux (DSE)...
Article
Full-text available
As we reflect upon the rash of extreme weather observed during 2012, no single event had as large an impact on the economy and political landscape of the United States as Superstorm Sandy (e.g., Bloomberg Businessweek: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-01/its-global-warming-stupid). Images of flooded subway stations in New York City, dem...
Article
Full-text available
The satellite record since 1979 shows downward trends in Arctic sea ice extent in all months, which are smallest in winter and largest in September. Previous studies have linked changes in winter atmospheric circulation, anomalously cold extremes and large snowfalls in mid-latitudes to rapid decline of Arctic sea ice in the preceding autumn. Using...
Article
Full-text available
The last six years (2007-2012) show a persistent change in early summer Arctic wind patterns relative to previous decades. The persistent pattern, which has been previously recognized as the Arctic Dipole (AD), is characterized by relatively low sea-level pressure over the Siberian Arctic with high pressure over the Beaufort Sea, extending across n...
Article
Full-text available
Arctic amplification (AA) - the observed enhanced warming in high northern latitudes relative to the northern hemisphere - is evident in lower-tropospheric temperatures and in 1000-to-500 hPa thicknesses. Daily fields of 500 hPa heights from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Reanalysis are analyzed over N. America and the N. Atlanti...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change in the Arctic is amplified by a variety of positive feedbacks, many of which are linked with changes in water vapor and clouds. Global climate projections indicate that these feedbacks will lead to enhanced warming of Arctic surface air temperature (Ts) relative to the global average as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate. The Go...
Article
Observations from recent decades and model simulations for the future indicate that Arctic cloud amounts have changed and will continue to change as greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere. These changes vary by season and region, as do the many factors that can affect cloud amount. Using simulations from NCAR's Community Climate System Model...
Article
Recent studies suggest there may be a connection between Arctic Amplification - the enhanced warming in high northern latitudes relative to the northern hemisphere -- and the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events in mid-latitudes. Observational analyses and model experiments indicate that sea-ice loss during summer and earlier spring sn...
Article
Full-text available
The Arctic climate is changing faster than any other large-scale region on Earth. A variety of positive feedback mechanisms are responsible for the amplification, most of which are linked with changes in snow and ice cover, surface temperature (Ts), atmospheric water vapor (WV), and cloud properties. As greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in th...
Article
Full-text available
Simulations of late 20th and 21st century Arctic cloud amount from 20 global climate models (GCMs) in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (CMIP3) dataset are synthesized and assessed. Under recent climatic conditions, GCMs realistically simulate the spatial distribution of Arctic clouds, the magnitude of cloudiness during the warmest...
Article
Full-text available
Hydrological cycle intensification is an expected manifestation of a warming climate. We examine the quantitative significance of changes in freshwater fluxes across observational time series alongside those from a suite of coupled general circulation models for both the terrestrial pan-Arctic and Arctic Ocean. Trends in terrestrial fluxes from obs...
Article
Full-text available
The pace of change in the arctic system during recent decades has captured the world's attention. Observations and model simulations both indicate that the arctic experiences an amplified response to climate forcing relative to that at lower latitudes. At the core of these changes is the arctic hydrologic system, which includes ice, gaseous vapor i...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial and temporal changes in high-latitude moisture convergence simulated by the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate System Model, version 3 (CCSM3) are investigated. Moisture convergence is calculated using the aerological method with model fields of specific humidity and winds spanning the periods from 1960 to 1999 and 2...
Article
Full-text available
Meridonal moisture transport into the Arctic derived from one simulation of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate System Model (CCSM3), spanning the periods of 1960-99, 2010-30, and 2070-89, is analyzed. The twenty-first-century simulation incorporates the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on E...
Article
Full-text available
1] The dramatic decline in Arctic summer sea-ice cover is a compelling indicator of change in the global climate system and has been attributed to a combination of natural and anthropogenic effects. Through its role in regulating the exchange of energy between the ocean and atmosphere, ice loss is anticipated to influence atmospheric circulation an...
Article
Full-text available
The connection between sea ice variability and cloud cover over the Arctic seas during autumn is investigated by analyzing the 40-yr ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-40) products and the Television and Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS) Polar Pathfinder satellite datasets. It is found that cloud cover variability near...
Article
Full-text available
Although both the Arctic and Antarctic are subject to a similar annual cycle of solar radiation and the same increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, over the previous two decades the two regions have experienced dramatically different changes in sea ice extent, temperature, and other climatic indicators. While these differing responses suggest a...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate aerosol effects on climate for 1980, 1995 (meant to reflect present day) and 2030 using the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies climate model coupled to an on-line aerosol source and transport model with interactive oxidant and aerosol chemistry. Aerosols simulated include sulfates, organic matter (OM), black carbon (BC), sea-sa...
Article
The Arctic is among the regions where climate is changing most rapidly today. Climate change is amplified by a variety of positive feedbacks, many of which are linked with changes in water vapor, cloud cover, and other cloud properties. We use a global climate model to examine several of these feedbacks, with a particular emphasis on determining wh...
Article
Full-text available
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2007. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research 112 (2007): G04S54, doi:10.1029/2006JG000353. Dramatic changes have been observed in the Arctic over the last ce...
Article
Full-text available
The Arctic is rapidly losing its permanent ice. While increases in greenhouse gases are believed to be the underlying cause of the melting, interactions among the Arctic's changing thermodynamic and dynamic processes driving ice loss are poorly understood. The emission of infrared radiation from the atmosphere to the surface has been recently impli...
Article
While the summer perennial Arctic sea ice has declined markedly in recent decades, the maximum extent of the winter ice cover had decreased only slightly, until the past few years when it also receded dramatically. This investigation reveals that the timing of maximum extent varies greatly, and the drivers of ice-edge location differ strikingly bet...