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Tropical Tropospheric Meridional Circulation

PI: Chidong Zhang
Institution: University of Miami
Additional Investigators: Amy Clememt, Christos Mitas
Our main interest would be the tropical tropospheric meridional circulation. Our recent work have revealed stunning discrepancies among three global reanalysis products (ERA40, NCEP/NCAR, NCEP/DOE) in their representations of the Hadley cell and the meridional shallow circulation in the tropics. We think they are due to differences in cloud parameterizations. It won't surprise us if similar discrepancies also exist among your 14 models. But it'd be also interesting to see how the deep and shallow meridional circulations vary in your different global warming scenarios. This is what we plan to do:

1. Document global and regional zonal mean meridional circulations (v and w) on y-z cross-sections (30n-30s).
2. Document zonal and vertical (x-z) distribution of the meridional wind along the equator to describe the zonal variability of the meridional circulation.
3. Document the associated distributions in temperature and humidity, and vertical/meridional transport of heat and moisture by the deep and shallow circulations. (Are the transport part of the standard model output?)
4. Using indices measuring the strength of the deep and shallow circulations and their heat/moisture transport to monitor their time variability and to compare among different models.
  • Mitas, C. M. and A. Clement, 2006: Recent behavior of the Hadley cell and tropical thermodynamics in climate models and reanalyses. Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L01810, 10.1029/2005GL024406. Abstract. Edit.

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