The role of the ocean in the seasonal cycle of the Hadley circulation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The influence of ocean heat transport on the seasonal cycle of the Hadley circulation is investigated using idealized experiments with a climate model. It is found that ocean heat transport plays a fundamental role in setting the structure and intensity of the seasonal Hadley cells. The ocean's influence can be understood primarily via annual mean considerations. By cooling the equatorial regions and warming the subtropics in a year-round sense, the ocean heat transport allows for regions of SST maxima to occur off the equator in the summer hemisphere. This leads to large meridional excursions of convection over the ocean and a seasonal Hadley circulation that is strongly asymmetric about the equator. The broadening of the latitudinal extent of the SST maximum and the convecting regions by the ocean heat transport also weakens the annual mean Hadley circulation in a manner that is consistent with simpler models. The results are discussed in the context of prior studies of the controls on the strength and structure of the Hadley circulation. It is suggested that a complete understanding of the seasonal Hadley circulation must include both oceanic and atmospheric processes and their interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3351-3365
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Volume63
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2006

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ocean
sea surface temperature
Hadley cell
climate modeling
warming
convection
cooling
summer
experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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The role of the ocean in the seasonal cycle of the Hadley circulation. / Clement, Amy C.

In: Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 63, No. 12, 12.2006, p. 3351-3365.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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