Recent behavior of the Hadley cell and tropical thermodynamics in climate models and reanalyses

Christos M. Mitas, Amy C Clement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The behavior of the Hadley cell and the thermodynamic structure of the tropical atmosphere is analyzed over the period 1979-2000 in climate models and reanalyses. Significant trends in the strength of the Hadley cell are present in reanalyses that are not reproduced by models. Analysis of the thermodynamic structure also shows significant discrepancies between models and reanalyses, the former show warming aloft and increased static stability while the latter show a cooling trend and decreased static stability in the tropical mid-troposphere. Additional energy balance analysis reveals that models and reanalyses have a fundamentally different balance between diabatic heating, circulation and thermodynamic structure over the period 1979-2000. Uncertainties in the observations of tropospheric temperatures as well as potential biases and errors in the climate models raise questions about the true long-term behavior of the thermodynamic structure of the tropical troposphere and the Hadley cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 16 2006

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Hadley cell
climate models
climate modeling
thermodynamics
static stability
troposphere
cells
trends
heating
potential temperature
energy balance
warming
cooling
atmospheres
atmosphere
temperature
analysis
trend
energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Recent behavior of the Hadley cell and tropical thermodynamics in climate models and reanalyses. / Mitas, Christos M.; Clement, Amy C.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 33, No. 1, 16.01.2006.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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