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The relationship between ITCZ location and cross-equatorial atmospheric heat transport: from the seasonal cycle to the last glacial maximum

Donohoe, A., Marshall, J., Ferreira, D. and McGee, D. (2013) The relationship between ITCZ location and cross-equatorial atmospheric heat transport: from the seasonal cycle to the last glacial maximum. Journal of Climate, 26. pp. 3597-3618. ISSN 1520-0442

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00467.1

Abstract/Summary

The authors quantify the relationship between the location of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and the atmospheric heat transport across the equator (AHTEQ) in climate models and in observations. The observed zonal mean ITCZ location varies from 5.38S in the boreal winter to 7.28N in the boreal summer with an annual mean position of 1.658N while the AHTEQ varies from 2.1 PW northward in the boreal winter to 2.3 PW southward in the boreal summer with an annual mean of 0.1 PW southward. Seasonal variations in the ITCZ location and AHTEQ are highly anticorrelated in the observations and in a suite of state-of-the-art coupled climate models with regression coefficients of 22.78 and 22.48 PW21 respectively. It is also found that seasonal variations in ITCZ location and AHTEQ are well correlated in a suite of slab ocean aquaplanet simulations with varying ocean mixed layer depths. However, the regression coefficient between ITCZ location and AHTEQ decreases with decreasing mixed layer depth as a consequence of the asymmetry that develops between the winter and summer Hadley cells as the ITCZ moves farther off the equator. The authors go on to analyze the annual mean change in ITCZ location and AHTEQ in an ensemble of climate perturbation experiments including the response to CO2 doubling, simulations of the Last Glacial Maximum, and simulations of the mid-Holocene. The shift in the annual average ITCZ location is also strongly anticorrelated with the change in annual mean AHTEQ with a regression coefficient of 23.28 PW21, similar to that found over the seasonal cycle.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:88145
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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