Simulated austral winter response of the Hadley circulation and stationary Rossby wave propagation to a warming climate
Freitas, ACV and Frederiksen, JS and O'Kane, TJ and Ambrizzi, T, Simulated austral winter response of the Hadley circulation and stationary Rossby wave propagation to a warming climate, Climate Dynamics: Observational, Theoretical and Computational Research on The Climate System, 49, (1-2) pp. 521-545. ISSN 0930-7575 (2017) [Refereed Article]
Ensemble simulations, using both coupled ocean–atmosphere (AOGCM) and atmosphere only (AGCM) general circulation models, are employed to examine the austral winter response of the Hadley circulation (HC) and stationary Rossby wave propagation (SRW) to a warming climate. Changes in the strength and width of the HC are firstly examined in a set of runs with idealized sea surface temperature (SST) perturbations as boundary conditions in the AGCM. Strong and weak SST gradient experiments (SG and WG, respectively) simulate changes in the HC intensity, whereas narrow (5°S–5°N) and wide (30°S–30°N) SST warming experiments simulate changes in the HC width. To examine the combined impact of changes in the strength and width of the HC upon SRW propagation two AOGCM simulations using different scenarios of increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations are employed. We show that, in contrast to a wide SST warming, the atmospheric simulations with a narrow SST warming produce stronger and very zonally extended Rossby wave sources, leading to stronger and eastward shifted troughs and ridges. Simulations with SST anomalies, either in narrow or wide latitude bands only modify the intensity of the troughs and ridges. SST anomalies outside the narrow latitude band of 5°S–5°N do not significantly affect the spatial pattern of SRW propagation. AOGCM simulations with 1 %/year increasing CO2 concentrations or 4 times preindustrial CO2 levels reveal very similar SRW responses to the atmospheric only simulations with anomalously wider SST warming. Our results suggest that in a warmer climate, the changes in the strength and width of the HC act in concert to significantly alter SRW sources and propagation characteristics.