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Annular modes of variability in the atmospheres of Mars and Titan
Nature Astronomy  (IF14.437),  Pub Date : 2021-08-30, DOI: 10.1038/s41550-021-01447-4
J. Michael Battalio, Juan M. Lora

Annular modes explain much of the internal variability of Earth’s atmosphere but have never been identified as influential on other planets. Using data assimilation datasets for Mars and a general circulation model for Titan, we demonstrate that annular modes are prominent in the atmospheres of both worlds, capturing a larger fraction of their respective variabilities than Earth’s. One mode describes latitudinal shifts of the jet on Mars, as on Earth, and vertical shifts of the jet on Titan. Another describes pulses of mid-latitude eddy kinetic energy on all three worlds, albeit with somewhat different characteristics. We demonstrate that this latter mode has predictive power for regional dust activity on Mars, revealing its usefulness for understanding Martian weather. The similarity of annular variability in dynamically diverse worlds suggests its ubiquity across the Solar System, potentially extending to exoplanets.