Summertime, semi-permanent high pressure systems over the northern hemisphere's oceans, such as the North Pacific Subtropical High and the Bermuda High are likely to intensify (strengthen) this century as a result of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, according to a new study led by Duke University.
These changes could play an increasing role of shaping regional climate, particularly the occurrence of drought and extreme summer rainfall.
Stronger highs could also have an impact on the strength and tracks of tropical cyclones.
Climate model simulations suggest that an increase in the land-sea thermal contrast - the difference between ocean and land heating, as Earth's climate warms - will fuel the systems' intensification, according to the Duke University/Nicholas School of the Environment news release.
In addition to the climate model simulations, the research team also looked at 40 years of atmospheric climate data for the months of June, July and August.
The study is published in Nature Geoscience. You can look at the study abstract right here.
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