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Linear interference and the Northern Annular Mode Response to El Nino and Climate Change

The recent hiatus in global surface warming has reignited interest in atmospheric teleconnections between the Tropics and extratropics.  Using a set of idealized experiments with two atmospheric GCMs, we examine the role of wave teleconnections associated with tropical SST anomalies representing an ENSO-like perturbation (ELN) and a climate change-like perturbation (CC).  In agreement with previous studies, we find that the subtropical jet shifts equatorward (poleward) in the ELN (CC) case. The high latitude responses are also opposite in sign, with ELN (CC) producing a response in the wintertime polar vortex that projects onto the negative (positive) phase of the northern annular mode (NAM).  Using a linear interference framework, these responses can be partially understood through changes to the phase and amplitude of quasi-stationary Rossby waves. We also examine the robustness of certain aspects of the response between the different GCMs, particularly for the CC perturbation, and highlight areas where the dynamical framework appears to break down.