Assessing Transport Pathways into the Arctic and Their Efficiencies

Lead PI: Dr. Yutian Wu , Mingfang Ting

Unit Affiliation: Ocean and Climate Physics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

April 2019 - March 2023
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: In this multifaceted study, the investigators will advance fundamental understanding and our ability to simulate long-range atmospheric transport pathways into the Arctic region. This has implications for important atmospheric constituents such as pollutants and water vapor, affecting human health and climate change both regionally and globally. The investigators will use a range of modeling approaches and experiments in a systematic fashion that will ultimately identify model deficiencies as well as improve links between the underlying physical dynamics and atmospheric transport. The project will support an early career lead investigator, as well as provide training for a graduate student and postdoctoral investigator. The investigators will collaborate with colleagues at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and National Aeronautics and Space Administration, providing a bridge to the wider scientific and modeling communities.

The objectives of this project are to provide a systematic assessment of the performance of state-of-the-art global chemistry climate models to advance fundamental understanding of long-range atmospheric transport pathways into the Arctic, their efficiencies, and the underlying mechanisms. With the use of both comprehensive and idealized models, the research will improve links between dynamics and transport and help pinpoint potential model deficiencies in simulation of transport. The investigators will first assess the multi-model simulations of transport into the Arctic using Chemistry-Climate Model Initiative experiments. Second, they will study transport pathways into the Arctic and their transit time distributions by conducting pulse tracer diagnostics in a comprehensive atmospheric model. Finally, using a simplified atmospheric model, the investigators will assess underlying dynamical mechanisms and sensitivities. The end result will be a better understanding of long-range transport into the Arctic, its intra-seasonal and inter-annual variability, and future change.