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MSc. Thesis

PI: Pedro Di Nezio
Institution: Rosenstiel School
The purpose of the study is to investigate the contribution of ocean dynamics in the response of the tropical climate to CO2 forcing. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the stability of tropical sea surface temperature. Among them, the Ocean Dynamical Thermostat proposed by Clement et al (1996) relies on ocean dynamics to balance the radiative forcing over the tropical atmosphere. Following proposed mechanism an imposed heating induces increased upwelling in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean cooling the equatorial SST.

The IPCC AR4 multi-model dataset will be used to investigate the effect of the previously described thermostat mechanism on the response of the tropical climate due to increased CO2 forcing. An attempt to answer this question will be carried out by comparing compare increased CO2 experiments in coupled models (that have ocean dynamics) with atmosphere models coupled to a mixed layer ocean (no ocean dynamics).
  • DiNezio, P. N., A. Clement, G. A. Vecchi, B. J. Soden, B. P. Kirtman, and S.-K. Lee, Climate Response of the Equatorial Pacific to Global Warming. J. Climate. Accepted. Abstract. Edit.

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