The contrasting response of Hadley circulation to different meridional structure of sea surface temperature in CMIP5

  • Juan Feng
  • Jianping Li
  • Jianlei Zhu
  • Yang Li
  • Fei Li
Original Paper


The response of the Hadley circulation (HC) to the sea surface temperature (SST) is determined by the meridional structure of SST and varies according to the changing nature of this meridional structure. The capability of the models from the phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) is utilized to represent the contrast response of the HC to different meridional SST structures. To evaluate the responses, the variations of HC and SST were linearly decomposed into two components: the equatorially asymmetric (HEA for HC, and SEA for SST) and equatorially symmetric (HES for HC, and SES for SST) components. The result shows that the climatological features of HC and tropical SST (including the spatial structures and amplitude) are reasonably simulated in all the models. However, the response contrast of HC to different SST meridional structures shows uncertainties among models. This may be due to the fact that the long-term temporal variabilities of HEA, HES, and SEA are limited reproduced in the models, although the spatial structures of their long-term variabilities are relatively reasonably simulated. These results indicate that the performance of the CMIP5 models to simulate long-term temporal variability of different meridional SST structures and related HC variations plays a fundamental role in the successful reproduction of the response of HC to different meridional SST structures.



This work was supported by the SOA Program on Global Change and Air–Sea interactions (GASI-IPOVAI-03) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (41475076). The HadISST dataset was obtained from the Met Office Hadley Centre and is available online at The NCEP/NCAR reanalysis and ERSST were obtained from NOAA and are available at We acknowledge the WCRP’s Working Group on Coupled Modeling, which is responsible for CMIP5, and the climate modeling groups listed in Table 1 for their contribution to make the WCRP model output available.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Global Change and Earth System ScienceBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Regional Oceanography and Numerical Modeling, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  3. 3.China-ASEAN Environmental Cooperation CenterBeijingChina
  4. 4.College of Atmospheric SciencesChengdu University of Information TechnologyChengduChina
  5. 5.State key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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