The response of the Northern Hemisphere summer anticyclones to a change in the timing of perihelion is investigated using the GFDL Climate Model version 2.1 (CM2.1). The orbital forcing consists of changes in the seasonal cycle of the top-of-atmosphere insolation as the perihelion shifts from the Northern Hemisphere winter to the Northern Hemisphere summer solstice. The North Pacific summer anticyclone experiences a large strengthening as well as a northward and westward expansion. The North Atlantic subtropical high experiences a smaller change that consists of a slight westward expansion but little change in strength. Experiments with a primitive equation atmospheric model show that these changes represent the circulation response to changes in the diabatic heating, both local and remotely. The remote diabatic forcing is associated with changes in the Southeast Asian and African summer monsoons, and the local forcing is dominated by a combined effect of a change in low clouds and local precipitation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science