Climate Dynamics

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 533–543

An investigation into the mechanisms of changes in mid-latitude mean sea level pressure as greenhouse gases are increased

Authors

  •  R. Carnell
    • Met Office, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, London Road, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 2SY, United Kingdom
  •  C. Senior
    • Met Office, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, London Road, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 2SY, United Kingdom

DOI: 10.1007/s00382-001-0197-5

Cite this article as:
Carnell, R. & Senior, C. Climate Dynamics (2002) 18: 533. doi:10.1007/s00382-001-0197-5

Abstract.

When greenhouse gases are increased in coupled GCM experiments there is both a direct effect and an indirect effect due to changes in the surface conditions. In this study we carry out experiments with a perpetual winter atmosphere only model in order to investigate the influence of changes to the surface conditions (sea surface temperatures, sea-ice and snow amount) on the Northern Hemisphere winter mid-latitude mean sea level pressure response. The surface conditions for the perpetual winter model experiments are prescribed from time averages of the HadCM2 control and greenhouse gas experiments. Forcing the perpetual winter model with the HadCM2 greenhouse gas surface conditions produces a negative mean sea level pressure (MSLP) response across both Northern Hemisphere ocean basins, as was found in the coupled model HadCM2 experiment. Additional PW model experiments show that the sea surface temperature forcing from the HadCM2 greenhouse gas experiment dominates the snow and soil moisture content forcings. The sea-ice forcing from the HadCM2 greenhouse gas experiment reduces MSLP at high latitudes. In the north Pacific region MSLP decreases when the global mean warming is applied to the sea surface temperature forcing field at all open sea points. In the north Atlantic region the increased tropics to mid-latitude meridional sea surface temperature gradient is required for MSLP to decrease. These experiments show that the MSLP response in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitude storm track regions is sensitive to the non-local sea surface temperature anomaly pattern.

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© Springer-Verlag 2001