Climate Dynamics

, Volume 39, Issue 9, pp 2361-2375

First online:

Breaking down the tropospheric circulation response by forcing

  • Paul W. StatenAffiliated withDepartment of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah Email author 
  • , Jonathan J. RutzAffiliated withDepartment of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah
  • , Thomas ReichlerAffiliated withDepartment of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah
  • , Jian LuAffiliated withIGES/COLA, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies

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This study describes simulated changes in the general circulation during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries due to a number of individual direct radiative forcings and warming sea surface temperatures, by examining very long time-slice simulations created with an enhanced version of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratories Atmospheric Model AM 2.1. We examine the effects of changing stratospheric ozone, greenhouse gas concentrations, and sea surface temperatures individually and in combination over both hemispheres. Data reveal robust poleward shifts in zonal mean circulation features in present-day simulations compared to a pre-industrial control, and in future simulations compared to present-day. We document the seasonality and significance of these shifts, and find that the combined response is well approximated by the sum of the individual responses. Our results suggest that warming sea surface temperatures are the main driver of circulation change over both hemispheres, and we project that the southern hemisphere jet will continue to shift poleward, albeit more slowly during the summer due to expected ozone recovery in the stratosphere.


Global climate modeling General circulation Stratosphere/troposphere interactions