Advertisement

Climate Dynamics

, Volume 42, Issue 9–10, pp 2259–2269 | Cite as

On the dynamics of the Hadley circulation and subtropical drying

  • Kristopher B. Karnauskas
  • Caroline C. Ummenhofer
Article

Abstract

Changes in subtropical precipitation and the Hadley circulation (HC) are inextricably linked. The original Halley–Hadley model cannot explain certain aspects of the Earth’s meridional circulation in the tropics and is of limited use in understanding regional changes in precipitation. Here, we expand on previous work on the regional and seasonal aspects of the HC, in particular how land–sea temperature contrasts contribute to the strength and width of the HC. We show that the Earth’s HC is well described by three regionally distinct cells along the eastern edges of the major ocean basins with opposite circulations elsewhere. Moreover, comparable summertime hemisphere cells emerge in each region. While it has been recognized that continents modify the meridional pressure gradient, we demonstrate that a substantial part of the Earth’s HC is driven by zonal pressure gradients (ZPGs) that only exist due to continental heating and air–sea interaction. Projected changes in land–sea temperature contrasts in a warming climate due to the relatively low thermal capacity of land will also affect ZPGs and thus HC strength and width, with implications for extremes in hydroclimate and freshwater resources across the increasingly vulnerable subtropics.

Keywords

Hadley circulation Precipitation Hydrological cycle Climate change 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge the NOAA NCEP/DOE and ERA–Interim reanalysis teams as well as the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate System Model (CCSM) project. K.B.K. was supported by NOAA award NA10OAR0110239 and the WHOI Ocean and Climate Change Institute (OCCI) Moltz Fellowship. C.C.U. was supported by the Penzance and Chase Endowed Funds at WHOI.

References

  1. AMS Glossary of the American Meteorological Society. http://glossary.ametsoc.org
  2. Black E, Blackburn M, Harrison G, Hoskins B, Methven J (2004) Factors contributing to the summer 2003 European heatwave. Weather 59:217–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cai WJ, Cowan T, Thatcher M (2012) Rainfall reductions over Southern Hemisphere semi-arid regions: the role of subtropical dry zone expansion. Scientific reports 2, UKGoogle Scholar
  4. Ceppi P, Hartmann DL (2013) On the speed of the eddy-driven jet and the width of the Hadley cell in the Southern Hemisphere. J Clim 26:3450–3465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chou C, Neelin JD, Chen CA, Tu JY (2009) Evaluating the “rich-get-richer’’ mechanism in tropical precipitation change under global warming. J Clim 22:1982–3005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clement A (2006) The role of the ocean in the seasonal cycle of the Hadley circulation. J Atmos Sci 63:3351–3365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Collins M, Knutti R, Arblaster J, Dufresne J-L, Fichefet T, Friedlingstein P, Gao X, Gutowski WJ, Johns T, Krinner G, Shongwe M, Tebaldi C, Weaver AJ, Wehner M (2013) Long-term climate change: projections, commitments and irreversibility. In: Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner G-K, Tignor M, Allen SK, Boschung J, Nauels A, Xia Y, Bex V, Midgley PM (eds) Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  8. Cook KH (2003) Role of continents in driving the Hadley cells. J Atmos Sci 60:957–976CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dee DP et al (2011) The ERA-Interim reanalysis: configuration and performance of the data assimilation system. Q J R Meteorol Soc 137:553–597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dima IM, Wallace JM (2003) On the seasonality of the Hadley cell. J Atmos Sci 60:1522–1527CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dunkerton TJ (1989) Nonlinear Hadley circulation driven by asymmetric differential heating. J Atmos Sci 46:956–974CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Durack PJ, Wijffels SE (2010) Fifty-year trends in global ocean salinities and their relationship to broad-scale warming. J Clim 23:4342–4362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Durack PJ, Wijffels SE, Matear RJ (2012) Ocean salinities reveal strong global water cycle intensification during 1950 to 2000. Science 336:455–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Feng J, Li J (2013) Contrasting impacts of two types of ENSO on the boreal spring Hadley circulation. J Clim 26:4773–4789CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Frierson DMW, Lu J, Chen G (2007) Width of the Hadley cell in simple and comprehensive general circulation models. Geophys Res Lett 34. doi: 10.1029/2007GL031115
  16. Gent PR, Danabasoglu G, Donner LJ, Holland MM, Hunke EC, Jayne SR, Lawrence DM, Neale RB, Rasch PJ, Vertenstein M, Worley PH, Yang ZL, Zhang MH (2011) The Community Climate System Model version 4. J Clim 24:4973–4991CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Haberle RM, Pollack JB, Barnes JR, Zurek RW, Leovy CB, Murphy JR, Lee H, Schaeffer J (1993) Mars atmospheric dynamics as simulated by the NASA Ames General-Circulation Model. 1. The zonal-mean circulation. J Geophys Res Planet 98:3093–3123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hadley G (1735) Concerning the cause of the general trade-winds. Philos Trans R Soc 39:58–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Halley E (1686) An historical account of the trade winds, and monsoons, observable in the seas between and near the tropicks, with an attempt to assign the phisical cause of the said winds. Philos Trans R Soc 16:153–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Held IM, Hou AY (1980) Nonlinear axially symmetric circulations in a nearly inviscid atmosphere. J Atmos Sci 37:515–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Held IM, Soden BJ (2006) Robust responses of the hydrological cycle to global warming. J Clim 19:5686–5699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hou AY, Lindzen RS (1992) The influence of concentrated heating on the Hadley Circulation. J Atmos Sci 49:1233–1241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kalnay de Rivas E (1975) Further numerical-calculations of circulation of atmosphere of venus. J Atmos Sci 32:1017–1024CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kanamitsu M, Ebisuzaki W, Woollen J, Yang S-K, Hnilo JJ, Fiorino M, Potter GL (2002) NCEP/DOE AMIP-II reanalysis (R-2). Bull Am Meteorol Soc 83:1631–1643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kang SM, Lu J (2012) Expansion of the Hadley cell under global warming: winter versus summer. J Clim 25:8387–8393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kang SM, Deser C, Polvani LM (2013) Uncertainty in climate change projections of the Hadley circulation: the role of internal variability. J Clim 26:7541–7554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kim H-K, Lee S (2001) Hadley cell dynamics in a primitive equation model. Part II: Nonaxisymmetric flow. J Atmos Sci 58:2859–2871CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Li W, Li L, Ting M, Liu Y (2012) Intensification of Northern Hemisphere subtropical highs in a warming climate. Nat Geosci 5:830–834CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lindzen RS, Hou AY (1988) Hadley circulations for zonally averaged heating centered off the equator. J Atmos Sci 45:2416–2427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Liu C, Allan RP (2013) Observed and simulated precipitation responses in wet and dry regions 1850–2100. Environ Res Lett 8:034002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Liu J, Song M, Hu Y, Ren X (2012) Changes in the strength and width of the Hadley circulation since 1871. Clim Past 8:1169–1175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lorenz EN (1967) The nature and theory of the general circulation of the atmosphere. World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, p 161Google Scholar
  33. Lu J, Vecchi GA, Reichler T (2007) Expansion of the Hadley cell under global warming. Geophys Res Lett 34. doi: 10.1029/2006GL028443
  34. Lu J, Deser C, Reichler T (2009) Cause of the widening of the tropical belt since 1958. Geophys Res Lett 36. doi: 10.1029/2009GL036076
  35. Meehl GA, Stocker TF, Collins WD, Friedlingstein P, Gaye AT, Gregory JM, Kitoh A, Knutti R, Murphy JM, Noda A, Raper SCB, Watterson IG, Weaver AJ, Zhao Z-C (2007) Global climate projections. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. contribution of working group i to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  36. Mitas CM, Clement A (2005) Has the Hadley cell been strengthening in recent decades? Geophys Res Lett 32. doi: 10.1029/2004GL021765
  37. Moss RH, Edmonds JA, Hibbard KA, Manning MR, Rose SK, van Vuuren DP, Carter TR, Emori S, Kainuma M, Kram T, Meehl GA, Mitchell JFB, Nakicenovic N, Riahi K, Smith SJ, Stouffer RJ, Thomson AM, Weyant JP, Wilbanks TJ (2010) The next generation of scenarios for climate change research and assessment. Nature 463:747–756CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Muller CJ, O’Gorman PA (2010) An energetic perspective on the regional response of precipitation to climate change. Nat Clim Change 1:266–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Nguyen H, Timbal B, Evans A, Lucas C, Smith I (2013) The Hadley circulation in reanalyses: climatology, variability and change. J Clim 26:3357–3376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Numaguti A (1995) Dynamics and energy balance of the Hadley Circulation and the tropical precipitation zones. Part II: sensitivity to meridional SST distribution. J Atmos Sci 52:1128–1141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Oort AH, Rasmussen EM (1970) On the annual variation of the monthly mean meridional circulation. Mon Weather Rev 98:423–442CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Plumb RA, Hou AY (1992) The response of a zonally symmetric atmosphere to subtropical thermal forcing: threshold behavior. J Atmos Sci 49:1790–1799CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Previdi M, Liepert BG (2007) Annular modes and Hadley cell expansion under global warming. Geophys Res Lett 34. doi: 10.1029/2007GL031243
  44. Raymond DJ (2000) The Hadley circulation as a radiative-convective instability. J Atmos Sci 57:1286–1297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Riahi K, Rao S, Krey V, Cho CH, Chirkov V, Fischer G, Kindermann G, Nakicenovic N, Rafaj P (2011) RCP 8.5-A scenario of comparatively high greenhouse gas emissions. Clim Change 109:33–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Satoh M (1994) Hadley circulations in radiative-convective equilibrium in an axially symmetric atmosphere. J Atmos Sci 51:1947–1968CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Scheff J, Frierson DMW (2012) Robust future precipitation declines in CMIP5 largely reflect the poleward expansion of model subtropical dry zones. Geophys Res Lett 39. doi: 10.1029/2012GL052910
  48. Schneider EK (1987) A simplified model of the modified Hadley circulation. J Atmos Sci 44:3311–3328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Seager R, Henderson N (2013) Diagnostic computation of moisture budgets in the ERA-Interim reanalysis with reference to analysis of CMIP-archived atmospheric model data. J Clim 26:7876–7901CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Seager R, Naik N, Vecchi GA (2010) Thermodynamic and dynamic mechanisms for large-scale changes in the hydrological cycle in response to global warming. J Clim 23:4651–4668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Seidel DJ, Fu Q, Randel WJ, Reichler TJ (2008) Widening of the tropical belt in a changing climate. Nat Geosci 1. doi: 10.1038/ngeo.2007.1038
  52. Stachnik JP, Schumacher C (2011) A comparison of the Hadley circulation in modern reanalyses. J Geophys Res 116. doi: 10.1029/2011JD16677
  53. Tanaka HL, Ishizaki N, Kitoh A (2004) Trend and interannual variability of Walker, monsoon and Hadley circulations defined by velocity potential in the upper troposphere. Tellus 56A:250–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Trenberth KE, Jones PD, Ambenje P, Bojariu R, Easterling D, Klein Tank A, Parker D, Rahimzadeh F, Renwick JA, Rusticucci M, Soden B, Zhai P (2007) Observations: surface and atmospheric climate change. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  55. Vecchi GA, Soden BJ (2007) Global warming and the weakening of the tropical circulation. J Clim 20:4316–4340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Webster PJ (2005) The elementary Hadley circulation. In: Diaz HF, Bradley RS (eds) The Hadley circulation: present. Past and future. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp 9–60Google Scholar
  57. Xie S-P, Saito K (2001) Formation and variability of a northerly ITCZ in a hybrid coupled AGCM: continental forcing and oceanic–atmospheric feedback. J Clim 14:1262–1276CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristopher B. Karnauskas
    • 1
  • Caroline C. Ummenhofer
    • 1
  1. 1.Woods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleUSA

Personalised recommendations